Some U.S. lawmakers say they do not expect Congress to approve new U.S. sanctions against Iran until at least late June, to give the United Nations Security Council enough time to impose a new round of international sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman said they had decided to delay new U.S. sanctions because, according to a joint statement, they believe that "tough multilateral sanctions are the most effective means to persuade Iran to cease its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability."
The UN Security Council is expected to vote in the coming weeks on a fourth round of sanctions against Iran for failing to halt uranium enrichment work that has the potential to be diverted toward a nuclear weapon.
A number of Western governments accuse Iran of trying secretly to develop a nuclear bomb-making capability.
Iran denies making any effort to produce an atomic weapon.
compiled from agency reports