The US Senate's approval of the Iran sanctions bill has won attention and applause from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the most powerful and influential pro-Israeli lobbies on Capitol Hill.
The bill, which was passed by the Senate on Thursday, targets Iran's energy sector, threatening to impose tough sanctions on any entity, individual, company or even country, which deals in refined petroleum with Iran.
AIPAC, which led lobbying for the bill, applauded the move on Friday, but nevertheless called on senators to expedite the implementation of the resolution.
“Iran's possession of nuclear weapons capability would be a devastating blow to America's national security interests,” said AIPAC Spokesman Josh Block.
“The US and our allies must impose biting diplomatic and economic pressure to try and peaceably prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and avoid confronting more distressing alternatives,” he added.
Billed as "the most important organization affecting the US relationship with Israel" by the New York Times, AIPAC has been repeatedly criticized for "distorting American foreign policy in favor of Israel."
With its intense lobbying power, AIPAC has won bipartisan backing inside Congress to such an extent that the interests of AIPAC, Israel and the United States are widely believed to be the same.
Washington accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons and has applied sanctions as a prime strategy to force the Tehran government into halting its nuclear activities.
This is while Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and unlike some of its regional neighbors has opened its enrichment plants to UN inspection.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast told IRNA (the Islamic Republic News Agency) on Friday that efforts to subvert Iran's nuclear activities would never come to fruition.
“We have repeatedly said that the US sanctions imposed against our nation during the past 31 years … have resulted in nothing but our nations' stronger determination to assert independence and achieve self-reliance,” he said.