The US Congress moved quickly Tuesday to signal its disapproval of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling for tighter sanctions against his government and designation of his military as a terrorist group.
The swift rebuke was a rare display of bipartisan cooperation in a Congress bitterly divided on the Iraq war. It reflected lawmakers' long-held nervousness surrounding Tehran's aggression in the region, particularly toward Israel - a sentiment fueled by the pro-Israeli lobby in Congress whose influence reaches across party lines.
"Iran faces a choice between a very big carrot and a very sharp stick," said Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "It is my hope that they will take the carrot. But today, we are putting the stick in place."