UPDATE 1-US Senate looks for way forward on next Iran sanctions

Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:44pm EDT

* Reid aides met Tues with "outside parties"

* Reid-Congress should pass new sanctions

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday Congress should pass a proposed package of new oil- and banking-related sanctions to keep up the pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.

Aides from Reid's office met on Tuesday with undisclosed "outside parties" to discuss the sanctions, his spokesman said, describing the meeting as "routine."

"Each day that goes by without Iran feeling more of our censorship, I think that's too bad for the world and helpful to Iran," Reid said. "We need to move forward on this as quickly as possible."

Last month, Reid had insisted that a package of penalties developed by the Senate Banking Committee should advance without amendments to speed its passage.

Several senators from both parties wanted the opportunity to make changes.

Republican Senator Mark Kirk has a package of amendments he wants to propose, including one that would ban insurers from covering shipments of Iranian oil to countries that fail to make "significant" cuts to their purchases from Tehran.

Ambiguous results from nuclear talks in Istanbul between Iran, the United States and five other world powers this past weekend further galvanized lawmakers' resolve to pursue new sanctions.

"My staff is meeting with interested parties to see if there's something that can be worked out," Reid told reporters on Tuesday, noting he still believed it was best to proceed without amendments "unless we can get agreement from basically everyone.

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
kafantaris wrote:
We’ve lost our nerve in dealing with Assad. What are we afraid of? We’re on the side of the angels. Neither Russia nor China has any moral grounds to support this monster.
If they choose to support him anyway in a military conflict, that’s their business. We will have the rest of the world on our side. And if Iran wants to get involved, let it. Before doing so, it should note that the easiest way to Iran is through Syria. And we will take that path and take them both out, if that’s what it takes.
Yes, there would be loss of life. Yes, it would be costly. And yes, it would disrupt the world economies. The ugliness of war has not changed throughout the centuries.
Nonetheless, there is no other way to get rid of these entrenched monsters. When the job is done, we will rebuild — as we had done after WWII.
But we’d better act quickly while the iron is still hot.

Apr 19, 2012 9:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.