No preconditions, indeed.
WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – The Obama administration is urging U.S. lawmakers to soften proposed sanctions targeting Iran’s central bank, Senator Mark Kirk said on Tuesday.
Kirk, a Republican, is the co-author along with Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of a proposal to penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank, the main conduit for its oil revenues.
The Senate approved the proposal last week 100-0 despite lobbying against it by Obama administration officials, who argued that threatening U.S. allies might not be the best way to get cooperation in action against Iran.
A similar measure is pending in the House of Representatives; both chambers must agree on the same version before it can become law.
Kirk said on Tuesday that the administration had written to some lawmakers’ offices and “proposed what they describe as technical fixes” to the Kirk-Menendez amendment.
But Kirk complained: “They are not technical fixes at all. They are meant to undermine the amendment.” He and Menendez have written to fellow lawmakers as well, urging them to “stick with” the Senate-passed proposal, Kirk said at an event on Iran’s nuclear program, sponsored by the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank.
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