Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Uncertain future in House for Senate's Russia sanctions bill

The bill, which awaits an uncertain future in the House, imposes mandatory sanctions on people involved with Iran's ballistic missile program and those who do business with them.

Instead of moving for a quick vote to build on the burst of momentum created in the Senate, where the measure won 98 votes last week, the Republican leadership in the House has sent the sweeping sanctions package to the Foreign Affairs Committee for a review.

Some European leaders have become vocal critics of Washington after U.S. Senate overwhelming passed a new legislation on Iran where a new clause has been amended that push for new sanctions against Russian Federation and cripples the President of the United States' ability to cancel sanctions on Russian Federation unilaterally.

Beheshtipour suggested that close cooperation between Russian Federation and Iran would offset the effect of the proposed sanctions.

Rep. Eliot Engel of NY, the committee's top Democrat, said Monday he's concerned that sending the sanctions bill to the committee will give the Trump administration an opportunity to weaken legislation. He's calling for a vote by the full House without delay.

The sanctions came amid a controversial investigation into the seemingly pro-Kremlin US head of state's possible "collusion" with Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign and after his election victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Any other option, Engel added, will stall "this process and give the White House time to water down this key effort to hold the Kremlin accountable".

On Sunday, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said the Iranian committee monitoring the JCPOA implementation has come up with plans to take reciprocal measures in retaliation to the United States bill.

If CRIEEA becomes legislation it will potentially require the President to impose several new sanctions against Russian Federation.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has apparently devised a three-point plan to improve relations and cooperate with Russian Federation. This will include both maintaining existing sanctions and imposing additional ones in response to Russia's illegal activities.

He added that Chancellor Angela Merkel shared the concerns raised by the German and Austrian foreign ministers who charged in a joint statement that the US measure brings a "completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations". The GRU is Russia's military intelligence agency.

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