WASHINGTON -- House and Senate negotiators pushed to finish a new round of stifling sanctions on Iran, targeting energy, shipping and insurance sectors with punitive measures to derail Tehran's suspected push for nuclear weapons.
Lawmakers hoped to unveil a final bill late Monday, with a House vote as early as Wednesday. Congress has just a week before a monthlong August recess and members see the legislation as the last chance to impose crippling penalties on Iran.
Sanctions have broad bipartisan support in Congress and in a crucial boost to the measure's prospects, officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, said they support the legislation.
The draft bill would essentially sanction any transaction related to the energy sector and prohibit Iran from transferring money back to the country from oil sales to foreign nations.
Any company shipping proliferation-sensitive goods to Iran would be subject to penalties under the bill, a provision pushed by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.
The bill also would deny visas and freeze assets on individuals and companies that supply Iran with technology that could be used against its citizens, such as tear gas, rubber bullets and surveillance equipment. The bill extends those sanctions on human rights violators to Syria, where President Bashar Assad's regime is accused of a bloody crackdown against protesters
The bill targets Iran's