TEHRAN, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. lawmakers next month will consider a provision to penalize companies that sell gasoline and other petroleum products to Iran, officials say.
Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said lawmakers would consider the measure in October in order to "begin the process of tightening the screws on Tehran."
Lawmakers in July approved a measure to place punitive sanctions on foreign companies that sell gasoline and other refined products to Iran by prohibiting them from U.S. contracts to deliver oil to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The measure is intended to punish Iran for its controversial nuclear program as Iran relies on gasoline imports to meet roughly 40 percent of its domestic demand, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.
In its latest report, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that while Iran has cooperated by improving the safeguards at its enrichment facilities, it is at a "stalemate" on all other nuclear issues.
Iran denies it is in pursuit of a nuclear weapon, insisting its enrichment activity is intended for civilian energy production.
Tehran, meanwhile, maintains it will not abandon its right to pursue nuclear technology.