Capitol Hill inched closer Thursday to finalizing a tough new round of sanctions on Iran.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced conferees for his chamber for when the House and the Senate merge their two bills on Iran sanctions together. Berman’s 17 picks include members of his own committee but also lawmakers who sit on the House Financial Services and Ways and Means committees.


The move will increase pressure on the Obama administration to move faster on signing off the new U.S.-based sanctions. The White House has tried to get Iran to give up on its nuclear program through diplomatic means but has found it difficult to secure China and Russia’s support at the United Nations for tougher international sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

The House's decision to name conferees also comes after overwhelming majorities in both chambers sent letters to the president, calling for him to act on a new round of Iran sanctions.

The Senate passed their version of the bill in late January this year while the House moved earlier, approving their bill in December 2009.

“Today marks a major step towards preventing Iran from acquiring the ability to produce nuclear weapons. Iran’s intentions are clear, and now is the time to implement crippling sanctions on this reckless regime,” Berman said in a statement Thursday. “During President Obama’s nuclear security summit, the international community demonstrated it would not tolerate nuclear weapons in the hands of irresponsible actors. We are immediately moving forward to ensure that legislation enabling tough sanctions is on President Obama’s desk for his signature.”

The list of House conferees follows below:

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.)

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)

Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.)

Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.)

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.)

Rep. Edward Royce (R-Calif.)

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.)

Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.)

Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.)

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.)