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House committee passes Iran sanctions legislation

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Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:00 pm | Updated: 1:21 am, Thu May 23, 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new push to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions by crippling the country's economy is gathering momentum on Capitol Hill.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved legislation Wednesday that would impose even tougher economic sanctions against Tehran. The bill seeks to further curb Iran's oil exports, limit Tehran's access to overseas foreign currency reserves, and expand the list of blacklisted Iranian companies.

The U.S. and other world powers fear Iran's production and stockpiling of uranium enrichment is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its work is for peaceful purposes.

Congress has slapped penalties on Iran four times since June 2010.

The committee's Nuclear Iran Prevention Act seeks to close any loopholes in existing sanctions and increase the pressure on Iran's leaders to give up their nuclear program.

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