How Tough Should Iran Sanctions Be?

By Ryan Teague Beckwith
March 28, 2012 – 10:39 a.m.

As the Senate debates legislation to impose economic sanctions on the country as an attempt to persuade it to stop developing nuclear weapons, some Republicans want to expand the measure, reports CQ’s Emily Cadei.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who is away from the Senate recuperating from a stroke, drafted a lengthy amendment that would expand the sanctions.

Kirk’s amendment runs 30 pages and would expand existing sanctions to target all Iranian financial institutions and any individual or company that does business with Iran’s petroleum, natural gas or petrochemical sectors. It would also sanction Iranian telecommunications companies and those that produce other types of communication software and hardware, which lawmakers blame for helping to censor and suppress Iranian citizens.

Because the amendment would limit the Obama administration’s ability to negotiate with Iranians and other countries, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is attempting to push the bill through the Senate without any amendments.

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