* Reid aides met Tues with "outside parties"
* Reid-Congress should pass new sanctions
By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON, April 17 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
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
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
"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