Senate divided on new Iran sanctions

By Abraham Shanedling

As the White House claims it is nearing a diplomatic deal with Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. Senate remains split on whether to impose more sanctions on the Islamic republic.

On Friday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said she will strongly oppose any new sanctions on Iran. However senators from both parties, including Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), have expressed support for imposing tighter restrictions on the Iranian regime.

The administration meanwhile has intensely lobbied against new sanctions, claiming they could hinder the negotiating strategy and lead the U.S. on a “march to war.”

The Senate is expected to vote this week.