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Lawmakers press for tough Iran sanctions bill
Lawmakers pressure congressional negotiators for tough Iran sanctions bill
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) Republicans and Democrats are pressing for the severest penalties possible on Iran, targeting its energy sector and financial institutions as the United States seeks to weaken Tehran economically and derail its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Congress has one week before the August break. Proponents of tough sanctions see this as their last, best chance for far-reaching, crippling penalties as recent high-level talks between world powers and Iran have failed to curb its uranium enrichment. Iran insists that its program is solely for peaceful purposes.

Leaders of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committee have been negotiating behind closed doors for several weeks to reach consensus on sanctions legislation. The House passed a bill in December, the Senate in May.

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