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Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

20 June, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Abel Ruiz

The measure looks to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country's alleged meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election and to make Iran pay a price for its "continued support of terrorism". "Any idea of the president that he can lift sanctions on his own for whatever reason are dashed by this legislation", CNN quotes Sen.

President Donald Trump campaigned on easing tensions with Russian Federation, arguing that it would be in America's best interest to try warming relations with Vladimir Putin. The libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only other "no" vote against the bill.

Now the bill should be considered in the House of Representatives, and then it will be handed over to President Donald Trump for signature.

Despite the overwhelming vote, the Russian Federation sanctions package was no sure thing.

Some of the sanctions were originally proposed by Barack Obama's administration, while others are new, but they are all meant to punish the Russian government for what US intelligence agencies say was an effort to damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by leaking embarrassing emails.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week that he was wary of Congress taking actions that could interfere with the administration's efforts to improve relations with Russian Federation.

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"We will keep them in place until Moscow fully honors its commitment to resolve the crisis in Ukraine", Sanders said.

Senators insisted the new Iran sanctions won't undermine or impede enforcement of the landmark nuclear deal that Obama and other countries reached with Tehran two years ago.

"I called over myself yesterday and just shared some thoughts with them".

"We see destabilizing act after destabilizing act [by Iran], from missile launches to arms transfers to terrorist training to illicit financial activities to targeting Navy ships and detaining American citizens", said the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee. "I've had conversations with Tillerson more generally about our relationship with Russian Federation, not about details (of the legislation)". The bill also mandates sanctions for individuals involved with Iran's ballistic missile endeavors.

Space News also reported that lawmakers also voted 94-6 to clear an amendment to the Senate bill that would permit NASA and space launch service providers to continue to import and use Russian-made rocket engines for civil and commercial launches. That's the alliance's "one for all, all for one" defense agreement. The president has at times criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and has suggested he might not deploy USA troops to defend a member state under attack, through he subsequently reaffirmed his commitment to article 5.

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