WASHINGTON: US Senate Republicans said on Thursday they needed more time to examine a revised packaged of new economic sanctions on Iran’s oil sector on Thursday, a surprise move that drew anger from Senate Democrats, who had expected a unanimous Senate vote of approval ahead of Iran talks on May 23.
“I feel I’ve been jerked around,” Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor after the Republican objection.
But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said his staff did not receive a draft of the bill until late on Wednesday night, and needed more time to review it.
“There is no reason in the world why we can’t resolve whatever differences we have and move forward. We certainly don’t want to take a step backward, and there are members on my side of the aisle who are concerned that the way the measure is currently crafted could actually be a step in the wrong direction,” McConnell said.
Earlier on Thursday the US ambassador to Israel said that US plans for a possible military strike on Iran are ready and the option is “fully available”, days before Tehran resumes talks with world powers which suspect it of seeking to develop nuclear arms.
Like Israel, the United States has said it considers military force a last resort to prevent Iran using its uranium enrichment to make a bomb. Iran insists its nuclear programme is for purely civilian purposes.