Lunedi, 15 Ottobre, 2018

Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

Mohammed Mossadegh speaks during his military tribunal trial in Iran in November 1953 following his overthrow in a CIA-backed coup Mohammed Mossadegh speaks during his military tribunal trial in Iran in November 1953 following his overthrow in a CIA-backed coup
Parmenio Sano | 18 Giugno, 2017, 04:03

In a almost unanimous vote, the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved new sanctions against Iran and Russian Federation that also limit President Donald Trump's administration from weakening existing sanctions against Moscow.

The enormous support from the Senate sets up a showdown between Congress and President Trump.

The ongoing FBI, House, Senate, and now Special Prosecutor investigations involving Mr Trump, his campaign team, and alleged ties to Russian Federation, as well as reports that two US-based diplomatic compounds could be returned to Moscow have all triggered concern over the administration's stance.

"We will probably have to correct something, and take additional measures, pay extra attention to something, but this (toughening of sanctions) won't lead to a deadlock or any collapse", the president said. "We believe the existing executive branch sanctions regime is the best tool for compelling Russian Federation to fulfill its commitments". Bob Corker (R-TN), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who noted that in many ways it was developed "under the radar" because it was bipartisan in nature.

As the push for more sanctions gained steam, the administration sent mixed signals about its stance. But in a Senate panel Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned against passing a measure, saying it would make it more hard to improve U.S.

"But this will certainly complicate Russian-US relations", he warned.

He did add caution though and said he needed to see how the situation develops. (R-S.C.) and (D-N.H.) - were locked in negotiations for roughly a week trying to hash out an agreement.


Graham also introduced an amendment to the bill to reaffirm USA support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Article 5 of its charter, which promises common defense if any one North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member is attacked.

Sen. Lindsey Graham's resolution passed 100-0 after Trump waffled on his commitment to Article 5.

"We must take a stronger stance in deterring Iran and holding its regime accountable for its actions and addressing Russia's years-long pattern of provocations", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, in a statement.

The decisive bipartisan vote could put the Trump administration in a bind.

"While it will likely not get the attention and coverage it deserves, Republicans and Democrats took action together today against Russian Federation", said Sen.

Previously, U.S. energy sanctions had only targeted Russia's future high-tech energy projects, such as drilling for oil in the Arctic, fracking and offshore drilling.

Russian Federation has climbed out of recession despite continuing Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, adding that the restrictions have forced the country to "switch on our brains" to reduce its dependence on energy exports. The legislation is expected to head to the House in the coming weeks.

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