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WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation to impose sanctions on foreign companies that help supply gasoline to Iran, a move lawmakers hope will deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program.
The bill authorizes President Barack Obama to levy sanctions on energy companies that directly provide gasoline to Iran along with the firms that provide the insurance and tankers to facilitate the fuel shipments.
The legislation would expand an existing U.S. law that already seeks to punish foreign companies that invest more than $20 million a year in Iran's energy sector.
"This bill has one overriding goal: To prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability," said Representative Howard Berman, co-sponsor of the legislation.
Reporting by Tom Doggett; Editing by David Gregorio