U.S. Senate Republicans block new Iran sanctions bill

Reuters News

5/18/2012 5:23:06 PM - Reuters News

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. 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.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jackie Frank)