Senator Kirk to Push Senate Vote on Iran Sanctions 'Sooner Rather Than Later'

Illinois Senator previously agreed to shelve bill until June 30 deadline, but now thinks a vote should be held since 'Iran refuses to agree to same framework as U.S.'

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Sen. Mark Kirk and President Barack Obama, February 19, 2015.
Sen. Mark Kirk and President Barack Obama, February 19, 2015.Credit: AP

Senator Mark Kirk, the Republican co-author of a bill that would impose sanctions on Iran pending a failed nuclear agreement, is reportedly pushing for a full Senate vote on his bill "sooner rather than later."

The Illinois Senator, who previously agreed to shelve the bill until the June 30 deadline, told Bloomberg News that a vote should be held since "Iran refuses to agree to the same framework for a final deal as the United States, and because Iran still strongly disputes basic issues like how a final deal will address comprehensive sanctions relief, uranium enrichment, and coming clean on Iran's military nuclear activities."

Kirk made his comments after Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said on Thursday that the framework agreement is not finalized and non-binding.

Iran President Hassan Rohani also warned on Thursday that Iran would not sign on to a final nuclear deal with world powers unless it is accompanied by the immediate lifting of all economic sanctions.

Kirk's bill is further along the legislative process than the Corker-Menendez bill, which would grant Congress the right to review any potential Iran deal.

A Reuters poll on Wednesday showed that sixty percent of Republicans said the United States should hold a hard line with its longtime foe and maintain or expand current sanctions, compared with 23 percent of Democrats who said the same.

The same poll showed that thirty-one percent of U.S. Republicans favor a new nuclear deal with Iran, creating a challenge for their party's lawmakers who largely oppose the framework accord sealed between Tehran and world powers.

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