US Congress readies Iran sanctions in case diplomacy fails

US Congress readies Iran

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate's banking committee, and others are working on plans to significantly expand new sanctions on Iran if current diplomatic efforts to curtail the country's alleged nuclear weapons program fall short. "Congress must equip President [Barack] Obama with a full range of tools to deal with the threats posed by Iran," Dodd said, outlining measures to expand sanctions to cover a wider range of financial transactions, including a new ban on exporting refined petroleum to Iran. His committee plans a hearing on the subject Tuesday. Several Democratic leaders, including Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., say Iran should be given a short time to show it is acting in good faith before further sanctions, preferably multilateral, are imposed.