WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bill to impose sanctions on companies providing Iran with gasoline and limit other business dealings with the country cleared a US Senate panel on Thursday, as lawmakers stepped up pressure on Tehran to stop its nuclear work. Like a bill that advanced on Wednesday in the House, the Senate legislation seeks to cut Irans gasoline supplies if negotiations fail to resolve the standoff over Tehrans nuclear program, which Washington fears is aimed at making a bomb. We must send a very clear signal to Irans leaders that if they continue to defy the will of the international community, our nation is prepared to confront them, Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Banking Committee, said before the panel approved the bill unanimously. One senator, Republican Bob Corker, warned the measure was a tacit vote of no-confidence in President Obamas ability to handle negotiations with Tehran. The State Department did not want to see this happening, Corker said. Corker voted for the bill in committee but said he favoured amending it later to give the president more leeway in working with other countries in imposing any sanctions.