Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pledged Thursday to advance a bipartisan effort to tighten U.S. economic sanctions on Iran in December despite the White House's plea that Congress not intervene while the administration is talking with Tehran about its nuclear program.
"The Senate must be prepared to move forward with a new bipartisan Iran sanctions bill," Reid, D-Nev., said. "We must do everything possible to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons capability which would threaten Israel and the national security of our great country."
Reid said that he supported leaving the country's "legislative session options open" as the Obama administration negotiates with Iran to halt their nuclear program.
Reid said he supports the administration's diplomatic efforts, but suggested he could bring up the sanctions legislation as soon as the Senate returns from its Thanksgiving recess.
"I will support a bill that would broaden the scope of our current petroleum sanctions, place limitation on strategic sectors of the Iranian economy," he said, while noting he continues to support the administration's diplomatic efforts.