Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

One of the only two senators to oppose the measure was Rand Paul of Kentucky

It's not like the sanctions are a surprise to President Putin, who has been following the anti-Trump hysteria in Washington fairly closely.

Following yesterday's vote on an amendment adding substantial sanctions against Russian Federation to the bill, the Senate today voted to pass the bill, which was designed primarily to impose a number of new sanctions on Iran for "non-nuclear" moves that the Senate objects to. That measure reflected Republican complaints that Obama had overstepped the power of the presidency and needed to be checked by Congress.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire adds that it was important to send a bipartisan message to the Kremlin, which she says tried to undermine US elections. "Pretty good rate of return".

The Senate maintains that the Iran sanctions that target its ballistic missile programme, destabilizing activities in the region and support for terrorist groups do not violate the Iran nuclear deal, which saw an easing of other sanctions.

The American Jewish Committee praised the bill's passage. "It is unacceptable for Russian Federation to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world". Rouhani is a political moderate who defeated a hard-line opponent.

The vote was on a procedural motion to attach the Russian sanctions provisions to a larger package of Iran sanctions that also has bipartisan support.

The measure also asserts a role for Congress if the White House opts to ease any sanctions against Moscow.

The investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 United States election took another turn, as the Washington Post reported Wednesday that Donald Trump is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller for possible obstruction of justice.

Yet Trump hasn't sought to rebuke Moscow.

- Impose new sanctions on: corrupt Russian actors; those seeking to evade sanctions; those involved in serious human rights abuses; those supplying weapons to the Assad regime; those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government; those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets; and those doing business with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors.

It's unknown whether new sanctions will negatively impact our deteriorating relatioins with Russian Federation, although it's a safe bet they won't help.

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.

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