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Obama pressed to get tough on Iran for terror plot

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Lawmakers: Use sanctions

Political pressure mounted on the Obama administration Wednesday to take a tougher stance on Iran after the disclosure of a Tehran-linked plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a Washington restaurant.

Members of Congress from both parties are calling for the expulsion of Iranian diplomats and tighter economic sanctions against the regime, which engaged Wednesday in a public counteroffensive against the charges, calling them “an American-Zionist plot” to distract the U.S. populace from its economic woes.

Rep. Brad Sherman, California Democrat, said the administration’s response was “timid,” and he called on the administration to fully enforce U.S. sanctions imposed by Congress.

Sherman, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade, said administration officials had failed to fully implement the sanctions for fear of damaging business interests and offending allies.

“The problem is that the State Department won’t do anything that is opposed by any European government or multinational company,” he said in an interview.

The Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter T. King of New York, said the Obama administration should expel Iranian diplomats.

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