Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
(photo credit: AP)
The Senate voted Thursday night to strengthen existing sanctions against and impose new ones aimed at its gasoline
supplies as part of the
effort to dissuade Teheran from pursuing nuclear weapons and cracking down on
"We have all watched the Iranian regime oppress its own people on the
and continue to defy the international community on nuclear issues,"
Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement following a voice
vote that approved the bill. "That is why it is so important that we move
this legislation forward quickly."
The measure would extend sanctions to oil and gas pipelines and tankers and impose
new sanctions on imports to
of certain refined petroleum products.
It also would expand sanctions to cover a range of financial institutions
and businesses; impose a broad ban on direct imports from Iran to the US and
exports from the US to Iran, exempting food and medicines, and require the
Obama administration to freeze the assets of Iranians, including Iran's
Revolutionary Guards Corps, who are active in weapons proliferation or
"The Iranian regime has engaged in serious human rights abuses against
its own citizens, funded terrorist activity throughout the Middle East and
pursued illicit nuclear activities posing a serious threat to the security of
the United States and our allies," Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, a sponsor of
the measure, said in a statement. "With passage of this bill, we make it
clear that there will be appropriate consequences if these actions
has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Senate and House negotiators now must work out differences between the
Senate bill and a similar measure already passed by the House. A final bill,
once passed by both chambers, would be sent to President Barack Obama for his