White House presses Senate to delay new Iran sanctions
(REUTERS) - The White House hosted a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, a senior Senate aide said.
The White House will press for another delay on a sanctions bill that had been expected to come to a vote in the Senate Banking Committee last month but was held back after appeals from President Barack Obama's administration to let negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme get under way.
The aide said Republicans would resist further delay, but that the decision was in the hands of Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, the committee's chairman, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also a Democrat.
A Johnson spokesman confirmed that a meeting on Iran took place at the White House but gave no further details. A Reid spokesman was not immediately available to comment.