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@SenatorWicker Votes to Strengthen Sanctions Against Iran, Russia

Following yesterday's vote on an amendment adding substantial sanctions against Russian Federation to the bill, the Senate today voted to pass the bill, which was designed primarily to impose a number of new sanctions on Iran for "non-nuclear" moves that the Senate objects to.

The measure adding sanctions on Iran due to its ballistic missile program, support for terrorism and human rights breaches passed Thursday in a 98-2 vote.

The only senators who voted against the measure were Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee.

Still, Corker and other Republicans said they expect Trump to sign the bill if it's passed by the House.

The investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election took another turn, as the Washington Post reported Wednesday that Donald Trump is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller for possible obstruction of justice.

In order for the bill to become law, it must still pass the US House of Representatives and be signed by Trump.

The new Senate sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran came one day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on lawmakers to grant "flexibility" to the White House in dealing with Russian Federation. Asked if they felt handcuffed by the Senate actions, Sanders demurred, saying that because the process was still ongoing, there was no final product to weigh in on. In a series of tweets, Kerry urged lawmakers to "tread carefully" in pushing ahead with new Iran sanctions in the wake of President Hassan Rouhani's re-election to another four-year term.

During his presidency, Barack Obama placed restrictions on Russian Federation for the annexation of Crimea and tampering with the 2016 USA presidential election. Besides, the document contains a provision that does not allow President Donald Trump to weaken or cancel the measures taken without the approval of the Congress.




"I would hope to allow the diplomatic efforts to attempt to make some progress", Tillerson said earlier this week.

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

But the Senate moved forward anyway.

Several more votes on the bill are scheduled in the Senate in the coming days before it can go to the House of Representatives.

"We've been interacting with the state department and, again, we'll see what happens", he told reporters.

McCain described existing punitive measures against Russian Federation as "modest" and "reversible at the discretion of the president". Sanders insisted his concern was that the new sanctions against Iran would imperil the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.

Senator Lamar Alexander voted for the legislation to impose tougher sanctions on Iran and expand sanctions against Russian Federation.

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