Senate adds new Iran sanctions to defense bill

(JTA) — The U.S. Senate unanimously approved an amendment to the defense bill that would sanction financial institutions that do business with Iran’s Central Bank.

The Menendez-Kirk amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was approved Dec. 1 by a vote of 100 to 0.  The legislation would progressively impair the Islamic Republic’s ability to sell oil, allowing buyers some time to find other sources and avoiding shocks to the global oil market.

The legislation must still be reconciled with a similar bill in the House of Representatives. 

The European Union also passed new sanctions against Iran, but failed to set an oil embargo against the country. Sanctions passed on Dec. 1 include a freeze on Iranian assets held in the E.U.

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