The Cable

Congress moves to crank up the pressure on Iran

Now that the House has passed Barney Frank‘s Iran divestment bill, the attention turns to the Senate, where Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback is working to advance his companion measure. Both pieces of legislation have basically the same idea, to allow both public and private entities to more easily rid themselves of investments in the Iranian ...

Now that the House has passed Barney Frank‘s Iran divestment bill, the attention turns to the Senate, where Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback is working to advance his companion measure.

Both pieces of legislation have basically the same idea, to allow both public and private entities to more easily rid themselves of investments in the Iranian economy. The measure is being sold as a way to tweak Iran without actually imposing new sanctions.

After the House passed its version by a 414-6 vote, Brownback said he would try to add his bill as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, which is on the Senate floor this week.

"I think we’ve got a pretty good shot at getting it moved. I haven’t heard of any opposition to it," Brownback told The Cable.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-CT, has another Iran sanctions bill that would crack down on refined petroleum exports to Iran and seek to freeze Iranian financial assets.

"You’re going to see the banking committee come up with a bundle of steps and there’s going to be broad bipartisan support for that as well," Brownback said.

The administration wants Dodd to wait until its ongoing engagement push with Iran plays out. But Dodd is set on moving forward in his committee this month.

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