WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate voted Friday to impose new sanctions on Iran's domestic industries, targeting the Islamic Republic's economy to thwart its nuclear ambitions.
The 94-0 vote for a package of penalties reflected fears about the threat of Iran's nuclear program and the strong desire to protect the United States' closest Mideast ally Israel. Shortly before the vote, the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee urged senators to back the measure.
Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., sponsored the amendment to a sweeping defense bill that the Senate hopes to finish next week. The punitive measures build on sanctions on Tehran's oil and financial industries that Menendez and Kirk shepherded through Congress in the past year.
"The most recent sanctions are working toward crippling Iran's economy but Iran hasn't quit trying," Menendez said on the Senate floor. Said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: "The screws need to be tightened."