The US Congress has passed additional sanctions seeking to further stifle Iran's oil exports, just a day after US President Barack Obama announced new measures to pressure the Islamic republic over its controversial nuclear program.
The House of Representatives Wednesday voted 421-6 for the new penalties, while the Senate passed them unanimously later. The legislation will land on Obama's desk for his signature, reported Xinhua.
House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said the new sanctions, the toughest ever imposed on Iran, seek to "tighten the chokehold on the regime beyond anything that has been done before".
She told the house that the measures will ultimately deprive Iran of "hard currency and funds needed to sustain its nuclear program". Oil export is the lifeline of the republic's economy.
The new measures, among others, target any individual or entity that works with Iran's petroleum or natural gas sector, engages in mining of uranium with the country, sells oil tankers to Tehran, or provides insurance to the National Iranian Tanker Co.
The move builds on an act signed by Obama late last year that targets financial institutions of foreign countries that purchase Iranian oil.