WASHINGTON – The US is not settling for a UN Security Council resolution expanding sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program and is intent on adopting a policy further isolating the Islamic Republic.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and Howard Berman, the California Democrat who heads the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, are combining legislations on more sanctions while the Treasury Department is working on punishing Iran financially.
Berman said after the UN vote on the resolution that Congress planned to expand upon the sanctions proposed, and called on European countries to do the same.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has also said the US does not intend to settle for the resolution passed by the Security Council, adding that a nuclear Iran was "unacceptable".
Among the sanctions imposed by Congress will be a boycott on all of Iran's energy firms and banks, which China and Russia fought to keep out of the resolution. The issue has won almost unanimous support in Congress, but it remains unclear whether the administration will cooperate.
In addition, the House plans to pass a law saying that any company who deals with Iran in oil or gas will not be able to do business with the US. Though the law has not yet been passed, many energy firms have already cut down on such dealings.
The Senate and Congress approved the new legislation in the spring, but the White House asked democrats in Congress to postpone seeking the president's approval until after the UN vote.
Iran is already having difficulty finding firms willing to provide it with refined oil, banks willing to finance it, and insurance companies willing to insure its cargo. The republic already pays a 45% premium on the refined oil it imports, even without the new sanctions hoped for by Congress.