Agence France Presse – A US senator announced legislation that would urge the international community impose tough sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
Democratic Senator Evan Bayh said he plans to introduce his resolution Friday calling for Iran to be excluded from international forums, events and organizations, and calling on foreign governments to sever economic relations with Tehran.
The legislation also calls on the administration of President George W. Bush to cut assistance to countries whose companies are investing in Iran’s energy sector, including pipelines to export Iranian crude, and to block supplies of refined gasoline to Iran.
The bill also calls for a worldwide ban on the sale of weapons to Iran, and urges the United Nations Security Council to impose a rigorous new inspection regime on the country.
"The United States must make the government of Iran understand that if its nuclear activity continues it will be treated as a pariah state," a passage of the legislation read.
Earlier Thursday, Bayh told US television that the Bush administration has paid too little attention to the potentially enormous nuclear threat posed by Iran, and said time is running out for action.
"I just came back from the region, and it is increasingly clear that Iran presents a real menace not only to the national security interests of the United States but to the rest of the civilized world, as well.
"They are the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world," Bayh told the Fox News cable television network.
"Now they are seeking nuclear weapons, and that is an outcome we cannot allow to happen," he said.
Bayh’s Senate office said the international ostracism would extend to excluding Tehran from the Olympics and this year’s World Cup football tournament in Germany, as well as international political and economic groups such as the World Trade Organization.
"We need tough action now, including economic sanctions, cultural sanctions, cutting off their supply of gasoline, arms sales, those kind of things, to convince the radical leaders of Iran that nuclear weapons are something they just cannot have," Bayh told Fox News.
"The window for action here may be as little as a few months" before Iran succeeds in developing nuclear weapons, he warned.