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US Senate Passes Sanctions Against Iran And Russia

Last year, Trump told The New York Times that he questioned whether it was in the United States' best interest to continue the sanctions on Russian Federation.

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".

The new measures are presented in the form of an amendment to the draft law on the application of sanctions against Iran.

The proposed legislation seeks to penalize Russian Federation for its interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, involvement in Syria's civil war and annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine.

"I would urge Congress to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation", he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Currently, President Trump could relax the Russian sanctions unilaterally; these provisions would take that power away from him, and force any changes to go through the Congress. Lawmakers have long sought to hit Iran with more sanctions in order to check its ballistic missile program and rebuke Tehran's continued support for terrorist groups.

- Impose new sanctions on: corrupt Russian actors; those seeking to evade sanctions; those involved in serious human rights abuses; those supplying weapons to the Assad regime; those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government; those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets; and those doing business with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Sen.

Previously, U.S. energy sanctions had only targeted Russia's future high-tech energy projects, such as drilling for oil in the Arctic, fracking and offshore drilling.

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

The passage of the legislation comes as congressional committees and a special counsel are investigating the nature of any potential links and contacts between Trump associates and the Kremlin. "I have no idea" if the White House is adequately concerned about Russian intervention in last year's election, Corker added, but "hopefully the White House will acknowledge" the massive level of Senate support for new sanctions against Russia. Sanders insisted his concern was that the new sanctions against Iran would imperil the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.

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