A U.S. Senate committee has approved a bill that would apply new sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
The Senate Banking Committee voted 18-4 on January 29 to advance the bill.
Senator Bob Menendez (Democrat-New Jersey), a leading proponent of the legislation, said it has been “carefully calibrated to achieve our ultimate goal, which is to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear-weapon capability."
But the bill is not expected to come for a vote in the full Senate until at least late March, after a group of senators agreed to hold off for two months to allow time for a diplomatic solution to be reached.
Iran and six global powers have set a March target for a political agreement and a June 30 deadline for a comprehensive deal aimed at easing sanctions and ensuring that Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons.