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Pro-Israel lobby seeks tougher Iran sanctions after 7-month extension of nuclear talks

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WASHINGTON — The powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is urging a dramatic escalation in sanctions on Iran in response to a recent seven-month extension of nuclear talks.

The group, widely influential in Congress, wants the U.S. to reinstate all economic penalties on Iran suspended during the diplomacy.

It also seeks a U.S. ban on Iranian oil exports worldwide and more Iranian industries blacklisted.

The Obama administration believes new Iran sanctions would harm hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday the U.S. must avoid new measures while negotiations continue.

Many in Congress want to ramp up pressure on Iran. But no new sanctions appear imminent.

Iran insists it's solely interested in peaceful nuclear energy. The U.S. and its partners suspect Iran may be trying to develop nuclear weapons.

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