Ros-Lehtinen said she is "optimistic" that the House would soon debate and pass two of her bills that would tighten sanctions.

The Iran Threat Reduction Act, H.R. 1905, is aimed at closing loopholes in energy and financial-related sanctions and hits the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act, H.R. 2105, would broaden sanctions against entities that help these countries develop weapons programs.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved both bills on Nov. 2.

"If the Iranian regime acquires nuclear weapons capabilities, the U.S., Israel, and our other allies in the region and around the world will face an unimaginable threat to our security," Ros-Lehtinen said. "The clock is ticking."

Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange MORE (D-NJ) agreed that the U.S. needs to impose tougher sanctions against Iran in reaction to the IAEA report.

"We need to respond to Iran with even tougher sanctions, make the U.S. an Iranian oil-free zone, step up sanctions on the IRGC, and sanction the Iranian Central Bank and countries like China and Russia that flaunt our sanctions and have provided critical scientific knowledge to the Iranians," Menendez said.

He said he and other senators are working closely with the Senate Banking Committee to pass the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act, S. 1048.

— This story was updated at 6:42 p.m. to add Menendez.