US Senate Overwhelmingly Passes New Russia & Iran Sanctions

Source: Agencies

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The US Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed tough sanctions on Russia and Iran, sending the House of Representatives a bill that would prevent President Donald Trump from unilaterally easing penalties against Moscow.

The measure, which needs to be approved by the House of Representatives and the president to become law, seeks to make Tehran pay a price for its “continued support of terrorism” and the engagements of the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and other activities not related to the international nuclear agreement reached with the United States and other world powers.

Senate Republican Lindsey Graham said the sanctions send a strong signal that “business as usual with Iran is over.”

Moscow and Tehran are staunch backers for the Assad regime and have been actively supporting regime forces in their military operations that have killed tens of thousands of civilians, destroyed infrastructure and displaced millions of people from their homes. Moscow and Tehran are also complicit in the sieges regime forces impose on rebel-held areas as well as other war crimes.

The measure calls for strengthening current sanctions and imposing new ones on Russians engaged in corruption, individuals responsible for human rights abuses and anyone supplying weapons to Bashar Al-Assad.

The measure would also punish individuals who conduct what the senators described as “malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government.”

“The legislation sends a very, very strong signal to Russia, the nefarious activities they’ve been involved in,” said Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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