The announcement comes as the administration has doubled down on its tough stance against Iran following President Obama's reelection. On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against several Iranian officials and organizations for jamming satellite broadcasts and blocking access to the Internet.
Separately, Sens. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWhy is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Democrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates MORE (D-N.J.) and 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.) are hoping to include in a pending defense policy bill crippling new sanctions that would target a broad range of Iranian imports, The Associated Press reported Friday. The administration is believed to be wary of antagonizing countries that export to Iran after winning unprecedented international support for sanctions at the U.N., while also viewing the Senate bill as a strong bargaining chip to force Iran to abandon its alleged nuclear weapons program during multilateral negotiations that could restart later this year after being on hiatus since the summer.