Nuclear talks in Geneva
Nuclear talks in Geneva Reuters

The 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 Associated Press (AP) reported on Monday.

According to the report, the group wants the United States 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 call comes a week after Iran and six world powers extended nuclear talks by seven months after failing to reach an agreement by a November 24 deadline.

Even before the talks were extended, there were growing calls among Congress members on President Barack Obama to toughen the sanctions on Iran.

Senators Robert Menendez and Mark Kirk were the lead sponsors of a bill introduced late last year to impose new sanctions on Iran if international negotiations on curbing its nuclear ambitions falter.

The bill was gaining momentum in Congress, but Obama lobbied hard against it and has more than once threatened to veto the bill if it passes.

Congressional lawmakers, including Menendez and Kirk, several weeks ago warned Obama they will work to increase sanctions on Iran if the administration makes what they consider a bad deal over Tehran's nuclear program.

The Obama administration, however, 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.