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Dem senators try to head off Iran sanctions

A pair of Democratic senators on Monday introduced a resolution in support of allowing nuclear negotiations with Iran to conclude before the passage of further sanctions.

The resolution from Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCaitlyn Jenner exploring bid for California governor: report WokeWorld comes for 'oppressor' Obama: Activists rip school being named after 'deporter in chief' Senators press for answers in Space Command move decision MORE (D-Calif.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyPassage of FASTER Act is critical for food allergy community Sunday shows: Biden's border woes, gun control dominate Murphy, Toomey say background check bill could pass Senate MORE (D-Conn.) states that the Senate is prepared to consider additional sanctions against Iran if the talks fail, as opposed to a bill that will be considered by the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, which would automatically impose sanctions if the talks fail.

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"This resolution represents a different approach than that of the sanctions bill pending in the Senate Banking Committee," a statement from Feinstein's office said.

That bill, co-authored by Sens. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats gear up for major push to lower drug prices Biden under pressure to spell out Cuba policy Senators to Biden: 'We must confront the reality' on Iran nuclear program MORE (D-N.J.) would impose new sanctions against Iran if the talks failed by a deadline of June 30 and no earlier than July 6. It also includes a presidential waiver if a deal is near.

The White House opposes the bill and says it could derail the talks to roll back Iran's nuclear program.

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“For those who agree that the sanctions bill in the Banking Committee is detrimental, this resolution provides an option in support of diplomacy," Feinstein said in a statement.

"The resolution states that if negotiations fail or if Iran violates any agreement, then it is appropriate for Congress to swiftly pass sanctions," she said.

Murphy said passing a new sanctions bill before the talks concluded "would be counterproductive."

"Senator Feinstein and I introduced this resolution because we strongly believe that a comprehensive diplomatic agreement is the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and that passing new sanctions legislation at this," Murphy said.

“But this resolution makes clear that, if Iran walks away from the table, or if talks fall through because they’re no longer negotiating in good faith, the United States will not hesitate to respond with debilitating new sanctions," he added.