U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today announced his support for a bipartisan effort to impose stricter sanctions on Iran if ongoing negotiations between Iran and other nations fail to produce results.
"Iran is a destabilizing force in the Middle East that continues to threaten our allies and support terrorism," Johanns said. "This is an issue of national security that has united both sides of the aisle. I believe the only acceptable solution for a nation with Iran's track-record is the full abandonment of their nuclear program, and this legislation will keep pressure on the Iranian regime while talks continue. If the negotiations do not reach the goal of a nuclear free Iran, the sanctions in this bipartisan bill are necessary.
"These sanctions should not be prevented from coming up for a vote."
The bipartisan sanctions agreement was brokered by U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and has a total of 26 cosponsors. The legislation requires further reductions in purchases of Iranian petroleum and applies additional penalties to strategic elements of the Iranian economy, to include the engineering, mining and construction sectors.
Simultaneously, it gives the Administration continued flexibility and up to one year to reach a final agreement, provided Iran meets its obligations.
So far, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has blocked attempts to vote on any Iran sanctions package because of objections from the Obama Administration.