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Harry Reid: Senate will look at stronger Iran sanctions in December

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) says the Senate will "move forward appropriately" in its consideration of possible new sanctions against Iran.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). (The Washington Post)

The Senate is in the midst of a two-week Thanksgiving recess and not set to return until Dec. 9. Speaking Monday on NPR's "The Diane Rehm Show," Reid said that when the Senate returns, "we will take a look at this to see if we need stronger sanctions."

Reid said responsibility for reviewing the matter would fall to the Senate Banking and Foreign Relations committees. He told Rehm that the committee chairmen, Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), respectively, "will do what they are supposed to do. They will study this, they will hold hearings if necessary, and if we need work on this, if we need stronger sanctions I am sure we will do that. So I look forward to input from both the majority and minority when I get back there, and we will move forward appropriately."

Asked about Israeli concerns with the new deal, Reid said: "I would be concerned too. I am concerned a thousand of miles away, you can imagine how he [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] must feel being a few miles away. So I understand."

Reid said he has discussed the concerns with Netanyahu, and the Israeli leader's concerns are one of the reasons he wants the Senate to continue reviewing the possibility of sanctions.

"But at least for the first time in some 30-something years, the United States, the European community, plus China, Russia, France, Great Britain were all able to talk to Iran in 37 years, so it’s an important first step. If it’s a good enough first step, we will take a look at that," Reid added.

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.



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