Senate passes expanded Iranian sanctions targeting country's domestic industries



The Senate voted in favor Friday of a new package of tough sanctions on Iran that targets the Islamic Republic's domestic industries.

The vote marked the third time in less than a year that Congress has hit Iran with punitive measures designed to cripple its economy and thwart Tehran's nuclear ambitions. 

The measure, introduced by New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez and Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, passed with an overwhelming majority of 94-0. 

The package of penalties will sanction transactions with Iran's energy, port, shipping and ship-building sectors. The legislation also will penalize the sale of commodities such as graphite, aluminum and steel, all products that are crucial to Tehran's ship-building and nuclear operations.

Tehran has found ways to bypass existing international sanctions, such as Turkey's use of gold to pay for natural gas imports.

The Menendez-Kirk measure would allow the president to impose sanctions in the sale or transfer of precious metals.

Fox News' John Brandt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.