Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Local | By Dorothy Bennett

Senate Makes It Harder for Trump to Lift Russian Sanctions

Meanwhile, it seems that officials in Trump's administration who work on foreign policy are pushing ahead with its own agenda regardless of what the president wants.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had encouraged the Senate to hold off on more sanctions, saying that he'd like more time to try and work diplomacy with Russian Federation.

The measure looks to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country's alleged meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election and to make Iran pay a price for its "continued support of terrorism".

The Senate on June 15 voted 98-2 to pass the legislation, which will now be sent to the House of Representatives for approval before being sent to Trump for his signature.

Russian President Putin shakes hands with Iranian President Rouhani during joint news conference following their meeting at Kremlin in MoscowThomson ReutersWASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican-led Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve sweeping sanctions legislation targeting Iran and Russia. 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. Chuck Schumer of NY, the minority leader, said Wednesday.

The bill would also impose sanctions on Iran with regard to its ballistic missile activities that are not linked to the nuclear agreement the Arab country signed with the USA and other countries.

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Additionally, the legislation imposes terrorism-related sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an arm of the regime tasked with exporting its terrorist ideology.

Corker, too, sounded pleased that the bill effectively ties a president's hands when it comes to unwinding certain sanctions on Russian Federation. "Russians guilty of conducting cyber attacks or supplying weapons to Syria's government", according to Reuters.

In November, Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei threatened USA leaders that his country would react if sanctions were passed against his terrorist regime.

The Senate bill also would cement in law a series of executive orders signed by Obama and aimed at punishing Russian Federation for aggressive behavior, including its 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for separatist rebels in Ukraine's east.

"This is a very, very strong piece of legislation", said Sen.

If signed into law, the document would prohibit the United States president from being able to lift sanctions without Congressional approval. Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders were the only two "no" votes.

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