US congress unlikely to vote on Iran sanctions this month

November 19, 2013 03:56

WASHINGTON - Legislation to impose tough new sanctions on Iran is not expected to come to a vote in the Senate before December, after the end of the next round of negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program, US lawmakers and congressional aides said on Monday.

As diplomats headed to Geneva for a third round of talks this week, members of Congress have been debating behind closed doors whether to go ahead with the new set of stricter economic sanctions on Iran relating to its nuclear program.

President Barack Obama has asked Congress to hold off on more sanctions to allow time to pursue a diplomatic deal.

The Senate Banking Committee, which had been expected to vote on a stand-alone sanctions bill by September, delayed such action at the Obama administration's request.

Frustrated by the committee's failure to move ahead, several Republicans have said they were considering proposing new sanctions on Iran as an amendment to a defense authorization bill the Senate is debating this week.

But lawmakers and aides said on Monday no such action was expected until after senators come back on Dec. 2 from next week's Thanksgiving recess.

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