Senators eye new sanctions against Iran

Senators eye new sanctions against Iran
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump puts the cart before the horse in Palestine Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns MORE (R-S.C.) revealed plans Sunday to introduce legislation that would impose further economic sanctions on Iran, according to a Reuters report.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, mentioned the plans for increased measures during a panel discussion at the 2017 Munich Security Conference. 

"I think it is now time for the Congress to take Iran on directly in terms of what they’ve done outside the nuclear program," Graham said.

Graham said he and other senators would be introducing a measure to hold Iran accountable for its actions, Reuters reported.

Tehran violated the U.N. Security Council resolutions by testing ballistic missiles earlier this month.

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial Senate votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale Trump faces skepticism about Iran war authority from both parties MORE (D-Conn.), who participated in the same conference panel as Graham, said there will need to “be a conversation about what the proportional response is" to Iran's missile test.

"I don't necessarily think there's going to be partisan division over whether or not we have the ability as a Congress to speak on issues outside of the nuclear agreement," Murphy said.

Murphy, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also said the U.S. will have to decide its level of involvement in Iran.

"We have to make a decision whether we are going to get involved in the emerging proxy war in a bigger way than we are today, between Iran and Saudi [Arabia]," he said.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalated after Trump sanctioned dozens of Iranian individuals and companies in early February, according to a Wall Street Journal report

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, who also attended the Munich Security Conference, said Iran doesn’t “respond well” to coercion and threats.

“We don’t respond well to coercion. We don’t respond well to sanctions, but we respond very well to mutual respect. We respond very well to arrangements to reach mutually acceptable scenarios,” Zarif said on Sunday, according to an AP report.

Graham blasted Iran, calling it a “bad actor” that's sending “mixed messages.”

"To Iran, I say, if you want us to treat you differently then stop building missiles, test-firing them in defiance of U.N. resolution and writing 'Death to Israel' on the missile. That's a mixed message," Graham said.