Senate Republicans press Obama on Iran sanctions

Senate Republicans are stepping up pressure on President Obama to place sanctions on Iran.

The Senate Republican Policy Committee posted a statement on its website saying that Obama should request that the Congress impose new sanctions in Iran before the end of the year.

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If Obama doesn’t make the request, the committee said it should become “an early order of business for the next Congress in January,” when Republicans take over the chamber.

Negotiators in Geneva last month failed to strike a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.

They instead extended the talks for six months, during which time Iran will receive $5 billion in sanctions relief.

The White House maintains that additional sanctions against Tehran while talks are ongoing would prove “counterproductive.”

The Policy Committee, which is chaired by Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoGOP senator attacks Biden: 'I'm not sure what he recalls' Oil and gas is a partner — not an adversary — in meeting our economic and environmental goals Murkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election MORE (R-Wyo.), charges that the president “has taken enough time trying to talk Iran out of its illicit nuclear program.”

After six years, “it is clear that Iran has no interest in seizing the opportunity given to it,” the panel states, adding that Obama has “extended his hand many times to Iran, including writing to the country’s Supreme Leader privately no less than four times.”

“Instead of breaking yet another promise to the American people, President Obama should respond appropriately to Iran’s clenched fist and work with Congress to increase sanctions,” it said.