WASHINGTON - A US congressional committee approved tougher sanctions on Iran on Wednesday, hitting out at Tehran's central bank following an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
The bipartisan legislation has good prospects for clearing the House of Representatives in the near future. In the Senate, lawmakers in both parties are working on similar legislation, increasing the likelihood that some version will become law.
"I hope we can ... have these bills on the president's desk in time to hand the Iranian regime a nice holiday present," said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a sponsor of the House bill.
The legislation requires the US president to impose sanctions on Iran's central bank if he determines it is facilitating terrorism or the development of nuclear weapons, or supporting Iran's elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.