Republican senators propose stricter sanctions against Iran
U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) addresses the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar

 WASHINGTON: A group of Republican senators is backing legislation that requires the Obama administration to impose stricter sanctions on every sector of Iran’s economy that supports the country’s ballistic missile program.

Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire introduced the bill Thursday. She and other Republicans say the Obama administration has failed to properly punish Iran for repeated test firings of ballistic missiles over the last six months.

The administration in January announced sanctions against Tehran for missile firings in 2015, but Republicans called those measures tepid and weak.

Ayotte’s legislation is supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, which suggests the bill could be taken up quickly.

Republican senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mark Kirk of Illinois also backed the bill.

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