The Senate on Friday resoundingly approved new sanctions on trade with Iran's energy, port, shipping and ship-building sectors, its latest effort to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program.
The new package builds on existing U.S. sanctions but keeps exemptions for countries that have made significant cuts to their purchases of Iranian crude oil. Senators voted 94-0 to make the new sanctions part of an annual defense policy bill.
"We must be clear to the Iranians that toughing it out and waiting it out is not an option, that it will only get worse," Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said.
Menendez, of New Jersey, co-authored the package with Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois and Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut.
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