UPDATE: By unanimous consent, the Senate passed the new sanctions on Iran Wednesday night without amendments or changes to the House-passed legislation. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.
(WASHINGTON) — In an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the House approved new sanctions against Iran, 421-6, targeting the country’s oil exports through banking and insurance.
Congressional leaders say the legislation will expand the president’s authorities, “to apply additional and even tougher sanctions targeting the financial and energy institutions that support Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, its nuclear program, and its support for terrorism.”
“By closing loopholes in the existing sanctions regime, this measure will tighten the economic noose and authorize dramatic new sanctions on Iran’s energy sector,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., wrote in a statement. “America and our allies must send a strong message to Tehran that it will face unrelenting pressure until it ends its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and its sponsorship of terror and instability.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called the vote a sign of America’s “unwavering resolve and unyielding commitment to deter Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon.”
“The House again made it clear that the United States will use every tool at our disposal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a statement following the vote. “With overwhelming bipartisan support, our action keeps up the pressure on the Iranian regime — to halt its pursuit of a nuclear capability, to suspend uranium enrichment, to return to the negotiating table and honor its international obligations.”
The measure now heads to the Senate.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN