US Senate Passes Sanctions Against Iran And Russia

The US Senate in Congress has voted almost unanimously to impose new sanctions against Iran and Russian Federation, setting up a possible confrontation with the administration of President Donald Trump as it attempts to improve relations with Moscow, PressTV reported.

Linking the Russian Federation sanctions to Iran measures will make it more hard for US President Donald Trump to take actions to ease sanctions on Russian Federation and would prohibit the president from doing so without Congress' approval.

"The president can't remove a sanction until he's given Congress notice and an opportunity to review", Cardin said.

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. During that process, the sanctions will remain in place unless the Congress votes in agreement with the President.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that he believes the new sanctions "complicate the Russian-American relationship", essentially echoing the sentiment expressed by the administration.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the author of the bill, told reporters he hoped President Donald Trump would "acknowledge" the near-unanimous support among senators for tougher actions against Iran and Russian Federation.


"It's particularly significant that a bipartisan coalition is seeking to reestablish Congress, not the president, as the final arbiter of sanctions relief", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat.

Corker told reporters that "I only have talked a little bit with" Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who testified twice this week that the White House would prefer "flexibility" to adjust Russian Federation sanctions as needed.

"Essentially, we would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue", Tillerson said.

The Senate's Iranian sanctions legislation imposes new restrictions on Tehran's ballistic missile program, also aiming to punish Iran for supporting terrorism and human rights violations. Lawmakers of both parties stressed the measures in no way target Iran's nuclear program or the landmark worldwide nuclear accord with Tehran.

"It's past time for us to take steps to protect the interests of the United States and our allies". Senators say the legislation won't undermine the landmark nuclear deal with Iran. "The debate we have here is on the non-nuclear activities of Iran that violate global norms and worldwide agreements".

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