Congress rebuffs easing of Iran sanctions
Republicans and Democrats determined to look tough on Iran and avoid any election-year challenges to their pro-Israel bona fides are rebuffing Obama administration pleas to ease proposed penalties on Iran's central bank.
(AP) Washington - The administration argues that the crippling penalties would undercut a carefully calibrated international effort targeting Tehran and would drive up oil prices, a potential economic boon that would help finance Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon while hitting cash-strapped Americans at the gas pump.
Just weeks after announcing a new round of restrictions, President Barack Obama on Thursday dismissed "some of the political noise out there" and said his "administration has systematically imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran ever."
Obama said he was considering all options for dealing with Iran, but declined to be more specific.