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White House committed to anti-Russian sanctions - spokesperson

The White House has not said if Trump would sign or veto the legislation, which would have to be passed by the House of Representatives before it could go to the president's desk.

However, Sen. Robert Menendez was skeptical, telling Politico, "I just cannot fathom how House Republicans could ultimately, with everything that's going on with Russia's nefarious actions, try to either deep-six the bill or dramatically change it".

A frequently polarized Senate has found common ground as Republicans and Democrats joined forces to approve a sweeping sanctions bill that uses an array of financial penalties to punish Iran and Russian Federation. Also included in the bill is an amendment strengthening sanctions for Russian officials who support cyberattacks against the US and its allies.

The measure is widely seen as a rebuke to Trump, as it hits Russian Federation with new sanctions to punish Moscow for its interference in USA elections, as well as over Moscow's aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

A day earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a plea for patience from lawmakers in relation to Russian Federation, saying the administration feared being "handcuffed" by the new measure.

Finally, it provides that no sanctions can be lifted by the President without Congressional review.

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On the Iran sanctions, despite some opposition from a few officials in the Obama Administration, the plan focuses extra sanctions on Iranian support for terrorism, human rights abuses, and most importantly the work on a ballistic missile program.

On the eve of the U.S. Senate has approved an amendment to expand sanctions against Russian Federation. "I think we struck a very good balance".

The American Jewish Committee praised the bill's passage. The two dissenting votes were Sen. Two Obama era State Department officials were alarmed at the review and told Senators Ben Cardin and Lindsey Graham that it appeared the president wanted to lift sanctions on Russian Federation.

The measure would require a green light from Congress in the event sanctions on Russian Federation are relaxed, suspended or terminated.

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

The Russian provisions would add people involved in the alleged Russian hacking attacks on the usa election to the sanctions list and impose penalties for delivery of weapons to the Syrian regime, hitting areas of the Russian economy such as mining and the energy sector.



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