WASHINGTON - A top Senate Democrat and Republican have agreed on a bill to impose sweeping new penalties on Iran.

The Banking Committee chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson, and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby announced the legislation late Monday that would target Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and apply sanctions to more individuals and companies that do business with Tehran. The committee will consider the legislation Thursday.

The two lawmakers said current penalties by the international community have been insufficient in forcing Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear ambitions.

The bill is likely to garner strong bipartisan support. Last year, the Senate voted 100-0 for a measure in the annual defence bill that targeted financial institutions that do business with Iran's Central Bank. President Barack Obama signed the wide-ranging defence bill on Dec. 31.

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