By a vote of 98-2, the US Senate passed a bipartisan bill to impose financial sanctions on Iran and Russia on Thursday.
The sanctions on Russia serve as punishment for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. The bill imposes sanctions on a number of important sectors of the Russian economy, such as mining, metals, shipping and railways. Individuals believed to have carried out the alleged cyber-attacks on behalf of the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin were also targeted.
The sanctions on Iran target individuals involved in the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program. as well as anyone who does business with them. In addition, the resolution applies sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization and calls for the enforcement an arms embargo against the organization.
The bill does not impose sanctions on Iran's nuclear weapons program in compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The sanctions bill was introduced by Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn, and was supported by all senators except Senators Bernie Sanders I-Vt., and Rand Paul, R-Ky.
The bill will now move to the House of Representatives, which is also expected to pass it. It will then have to be signed by US President Donald Trump to become law.
The American Jewish Committee praised the bill’s passage.
“In the aftermath of the Iran nuclear deal, AJC has continued to raise concerns about Iran’s threatening behavior with our own and other governments,” AJC associate executive director for policy Jason Isaacson said in a statement.
“Iran’s ballistic missile program, the regime’s support for international terrorism, and its blatant and egregious human rights violations should not be ignored. This bill demonstrates to the Iranian regime that they will not be tolerated.”
The bill was also praised by the Christians United for Israel organization, which called it a “good first step.”
“While the Iran nuclear agreement was sold to the American people with the promise that Tehran would moderate its behavior, the Islamic Republic continues to work to consolidate power and export bloodshed,” CUFI said in a statement. “Iran’s support for terror, ballistic missile program and human rights record demand US action.”