Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Local | By Vivian Poole

Putin: New sanctions will 'complicate' Russia-US ties

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass sanctions against the regimes in Iran and Russian Federation, targeting the former for its ballistic missile program and the latter for its aggressive cyber war against the United States.

Lawmakers said they're responding to Russia's involvement in Ukraine and meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and to Iran's development of a ballistic missile program, support for terrorism and violations of human rights.

The decisive bipartisan vote could put the Trump administration in a bind. "I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russian Federation included in this bill", Sanders said in a statement. Yet those penalties are melded with the Iran punishments.

According to Politico, a senior administration official stated that the "White House is concerned that the legislation would tie its hands on U.S. -Russia relations". It also creates a congressional review process if the executive branch eases current sanctions.

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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. That measure reflected Republican complaints that Obama had overstepped the power of the presidency and needed to be checked by Congress.

US intelligence agencies concluded that Russian Federation sought to influence the American presidential election a year ago. "Pretty good rate of return".

Trump officials have been eager to crack down on Iran's non-nuclear illicit activities, and have squeezed the country with additional sanctions while they conduct a comprehensive Iran policy review.

A day earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a plea for patience from lawmakers in relation to Russian Federation, saying the administration feared being "handcuffed" by the new measure.

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While Corker was measured, other Republican and Democrat senators said Russian Federation needed to understand the USA position on its election interference. Rouhani is a political moderate who defeated a hard-line opponent. The measure also would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo. He's instead castigated his own intelligence community and rejected its assessment that Russia's hacking and disinformation campaign was meant to aid his candidacy. The bill also mandates sanctions for individuals involved with Iran's ballistic missile endeavors.

In order for the bill to become law, it must still pass the US House of Representatives and be signed by Trump.

The penalties have been criticized by Austria and Germany for promoting US economic interests.

"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.

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