07:12 GMT17 June 2021
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    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)
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    The US Congress could introduce a bill draft posted on Senator Mark Kirk's website with additional restrictive measures against Iran if nuclear talks break down by a July deadline.

    WASHINGTON, September 17 (Sputnik) — The US Congress is pushing forward with a bill aiming to impose tougher sanctions on Iran if nuclear talks break down by a July deadline, despite a veto threat from US President Barack Obama.

    According to a draft of the bill posted on Senator Mark Kirk's website, the United States could introduce additional restrictive measures against Iran, accused by the West of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful program, by further targeting the country's energy sector and expanding sanctions on Iranian officials and agencies.

    US and foreign financial institutions violating sanctions would also be targeted, according to the draft of the bill, sponsored by Kirk, a Republican, and Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.

    The sanctions bill could be introduced in Congress as early as next week.

    On Friday, Obama urged Congress to have "patience", arguing the bill would undermine sensitive negotiations with Iran and the P5+1 group, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany.

    Meanwhile speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner said Congress would move forward despite the president's veto threat.

    The P5+1 group and Iranian negotiators initiated diplomatic efforts back in 2006 to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remained focused on peaceful applications only. Since then, the group has held several meetings with Iran, but the sides have failed to reach a compromise.

    The latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, held in November in Vienna, Switzerland, did not produce a comprehensive deal and the sides agreed to continue discussions in July 2015.

    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)


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