WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. senators introduced an enhanced Iran sanctions bill matching one recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The crux of both bills is a ban on business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran’s energy sector, or $5 million over one year. The current threshold is $20 million in business per year.
Like the House bill introduced earlier this month, the bill introduced May 24 by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) includes sanctions on materials used by Iran to crush its democracy movement and expands funding for democracy groups.
It also requires the Obama administration to seek further sanctions through the U.N. Security Council.
Members of both parties say the Obama administration has not sufficiently exploited enhanced sanctions passed and enacted a year ago. Authors of the bills in the House and Senate have said that the legislation is in part a bid to force the president’s hand.