June 23, 2018

Senate passes new sanctions on Iran, Russia

20 June 2017, 12:57 | Erin Grant

Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Bipartisan Iran Sanctions Bill Targeting Revolutionary Guards

Senate passes bill to impose new sanctions on Iran

Earlier this week, the Senate came together and overwhelmingly passed a bill that would impose new sanctions against Russian Federation and allow Congress to review any attempts by the president to lessen them.

Geopolitical analyst Ian Bremmer, the CEO of the political risk firm Eurasia Group, tweeted Thursday: "Heard from Defense Min of a United States ally: Mattis & Tillerson said they make relevant policy decisions & ignore Trump because he's not in charge".

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.

A senior administration official said the White House is unhappy with measures in the Senate bill created to limit Trump's ability to ease the sanctions without congressional approval.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the chairman of the Banking Committee, said the legislation expands the Ukraine-related sanctions to ban Western companies from being involved in Russian energy exploration projects in the Arctic and elsewhere. Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders were the only two "no" votes.

"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". Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, told Politico.

However, aides in both the Senate and the House said they expected support for the bill would be strong enough to override a Trump veto if necessary.

Trump announced at a news conference last week that he would support Article 5 after he failed to mention it in a speech at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters last month. "I find as we get to the finish line on these bills, every administration generally joins us ... so I think we'll have the support of the administration".

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review.

The measure, which was approved 97-2 - Sens.

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

Graham said the vote "should reassure our allies and give notice to our enemies that America stands firmly in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our Article 5 commitment". Chuck Schumer of NY, the minority leader, said Wednesday.

Despite the overwhelming vote, the Russian Federation sanctions package was no sure thing.

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