Senate votes to strengthen sanctions on both Russian Federation and Iran

Tillerson to Testify in House as Russia Sanctions Vote Nears

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that the Trump administration is "committed to existing sanctions against Russia" but is "still reviewing the new Russian Federation sanctions amendment". That provision also mandates that Congress approve any easing of sanctions against the Kremlin.

Under President Obama, top White House officials warned that sanctions would be unsafe to the legitimacy of the nuclear deal signed with Iran.

Trump has been reluctant to address Russian's involvement and has repeatedly praised the country and President Vladimir Putin. But senators evidently wanted to warn the president of getting too close to the country, with which he did business as a private citizen, or of loosening any previous sanctions on the country. However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to push back at the legislation Wednesday at a House hearing. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee had initially been hesitant to take it up, as the administration had expressed a hope it could improve relations with Moscow.

The bill as originally introduced was exclusively about slapping new sanctions on Iran. "If we can not make some progress, and I have told others in the Senate, I have had conversations with them, I may very well be coming to you and saying the time has come now to do this in order to motivate some movement on their part".

Final approval of the bill came a day after a 97-2 vote in favor of an amendment to the Iran Sanctions bill that puts into law existing American sanctions against Russia, dealing not only with US protests over aggression in Crimea and Ukraine, but also in response to Russian cyber attacks linked to the 2016 elections.

'Alex Jones isn't going away,' NBC's Megyn Kelly says in defending interview
Lawyers who represent 12 people who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook urged NBC News officials not to air the interview. Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan also noted the editing of the interview on her Twitter account.

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 usa elections. John McCain, R-Ariz., said, Russians to date have paid no price for it.

Gardner introduced and sponsored the amendment with Sen. "But look, this bill is going to become law", Corker told reporters on Wednesday.

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 sanctions, for example, could apply to any financial institution or any foreign company that provides key parts or components to Iran's missile program.

The bill provides for the consolidation on the legislative level of the sanctions imposed by Executive orders of Barack Obama.

On Wednesday, United States Senate has overwhelming voted to make way for allowing new sanctions against Russian Federation in order to punish the latter's alleged interference in the US election of 2016.

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