US Senate looks for path forward on next Iran sanctions

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON, April 17 | Tue Apr 17, 2012

(Reuters) – U.S. Senate aides were slated to meet on Tuesday to discuss the next steps for a new package of proposed oil- and banking-related sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to abandon its nuclear program, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

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

But several senators from both parties wanted the opportunity to make changes.

“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.”

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.

“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. We need to move forward on this as quickly as possible,” Reid said.

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