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Health Care Dispute Could Delay Iran Sanctions

By DONNA CASSATA
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate delay over an unrelated health care issue could be the silver lining for President Barack Obama in his appeal to Congress to hold off on a new round of Iran sanctions.

Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana wants a vote on his measure to make lawmakers disclose which of their aides are enrolling in the president's new health care law as part of an ongoing effort to discredit "Obamacare." He wants a vote as part of the pharmaceutical bill.

That could delay Senate action next week on the annual defense policy bill that is certain to attract an amendment to impose a new round of penalties on Iran.

Obama has spoken to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other senators in a plea to hold off on sanctions.

Earlier, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the administration needs more time - without new sanctions - to pursue a deal with Iran.

"We have to test this regime," she said on "CBS This Morning." One key obstacle, she said, would be the "generations of suspicion" between Washington and Tehran.

Pressure has been building within both parties in Congress to toughen economic sanctions already in place. Iran repeatedly has denied it is trying to build nuclear weapons.

Asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's assertion last week that Iran is taking advantage of U.S. and international patience, Power said she doesn't believe that's the case. "The sign that this is not a good deal" for Iran is that Tehran hasn't yet accepted it, she said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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