WASHINGTON: The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a resolution that reaffirms U.S. efforts to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and says containment of a nuclear-capable Iran is not an option.
By a vote of 90-1 early Saturday, the Senate backed the nonbinding measure that specifically states that it should not been interpreted as an authorization for the use of military force or a declaration of war.
Passage of the resolution comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pressed Washington to spell out what would provoke a U.S.-led military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. The Senate acted in the final hours before Congress broke for its weekslong recess.
The measure was introduced months ago by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman. It endorses continued economic and diplomatic pressure on Tehran until it agrees to suspension of its uranium enrichment program in compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions, cooperates with international inspectors and reaches a permanent agreement that its program is for peaceful purposes.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who cast the only "no" vote, had spoken out against the resolution as an excuse for the use of military force.
Congress has passed - and President Barack Obama has signed - tough sanctions on Iran to limit its oil sales, hamper its economy and make it difficult for Tehran to finance its uranium enrichment program.