Senators endorse Iran sanctions in budget vote
© Greg Nash

Senators unanimously approved an amendment Thursday that backs bolstering sanctions against Iran if President Obama can't verify that the country is following a nuclear deal. 

 
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The Illinois Republican's amendment originally supported restoring rolled-back sanctions, as well as applying new sanctions, if Iran violated the interim deal currently in place or a long-term agreement on its nuclear program. 
 
The final amendment supports reimposed and new sanctions against Iran if Obama "cannot make a determination and certify that Iran is complying" with an agreement. 
 
The amendment establishes a "deficit-neutral reserve fund," meaning that it can't add to the deficit, and is nonbinding, but it does get senators on the record on Iran sanctions. 
 
Kirk is behind a separate piece of legislation that would ratchet up sanctions against Iran. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval MORE (R-Ky.) said earlier this week that lawmakers would take up that bill if a deal isn't reached. 
 
Negotiators are currently facing an end-of-the-month deadline to reach a framework agreement for a long-term nuclear deal, with a final deadline at the end of June.