Clinton Touts New Round of Iran Sanctions

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States isn't letting any grass grow under its feet when it comes moving on new sanctions against Iran.

"The administration has been unequivocal about its policy toward Iran. With your good work and our efforts, we have passed the Menendez-Kirk sanctions. We are implementing those sanctions," Clinton told the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations Wednesday.

"There has never been anything like them that the world has ever agreed upon," she said.

The first round of sanctions is scheduled to take effect Wednesday.

Sixty days after enactment, President Barack Obama is legally obliged to punish any privately owned foreign financial institution that works with Tehran's Central Bank for any purpose other than purchasing oil.

Lawmakers are expecting an announcement from the administration on specific steps it plans to take to thwart Tehran's nuclear program.

Some in Congress are concerned the White House won't be tough enough in implementing penalties against the Islamic Republic.

Clinton sought to allay those fears.

"What we are intending to do is to ratchet up these sanctions as hard and fast as we can, follow what's going on inside Iran, which seems to be a lot of economic pressures that we think does have an impact on decision-making," she said.

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