US House leader says new Iran sanctions could pass next week
The U.S. House of Representatives may approve a new package of sanctions next week aimed at Iran's oil revenues, the No. 2 House Republican said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
House and Senate lawmakers and aides have been putting the finishing touches on the sanctions measure, aiming to have a deal in place before lawmakers leave at the end of next week for a month-long break.
"I am very hopeful we can get this done prior to the August recess," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a comment on the House floor.
The sanctions are designed to crack down on transactions with Iran's national oil and tanker companies, and to hamper the ability of Iranian banks to transfer funds electronically.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said on Wednesday that he also hoped to wrap up work on the bill before the August break.
The package builds on U.S. penalties for banks that deal with Iran and measures that helped slash Iran's oil sales - sanctions signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 31. (Reporting by Richard Cowan and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Will Dunham)