Senate toughens Iran penalties over nuke program

Intent on weakening Iran economically, the Senate on Monday approved tough new penalties on the Tehran regime to thwart its nuclear ambitions.

 The bill would target Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, require companies that trade on the U.S. stock exchange to disclose any Iran-related business to the Securities and Exchange Commission and would expand penalties for energy and uranium mining joint ventures with Tehran.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., attempted on March 27 to secure quick approval of the legislation with no amendments, but Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., pushed to add language stating that the bill was not an authorization to use military force. Reid also faced a challenge from Kirk, who pressed for nine additional amendments.

The new version of the bill includes elements of amendments that Kirk and Menendez had proposed, including tougher sanctions against companies that engage in or back censorship in Iran.

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