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Russia and Iran warn US Congress

Russia
26.07.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Russia and Iran warn sanctions effort by US Congress could backfire
Russia and Iran on Wednesday condemned the latest move by the US Congress to impose new sanctions against them and warned that there could be severe consequences.
GALLERY
Moscow (dpa) - The bill, which would impose further penalties against Russian officials, is a "very serious step towards destroying the prospects for normalizing relations," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
Iran‘s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, blasted the initiative, calling it a "clear act of hostility" against the Islamic republic. The US Congress wants to slap fresh sanctions against individual Iranians for their involvement in the country‘s ballistic missile programme, as well impose other penalties for what the US describes as Iran‘s terrorist activities and human rights abuses.

"What is happening is beyond common sense," Ryabkov said in comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS.

Iran‘s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, blasted the initiative, calling it a "clear act of hostility" against the Islamic republic.

The US Congress wants to slap fresh sanctions against individual Iranians for their involvement in the country‘s ballistic missile programme, as well impose other penalties for what the US describes as Iran‘s terrorist activities and human rights abuses.

Iran plans to wait and see how the sanctions are implemented before conducting a reciprocal response, Araghchi said in comments carried by the Iranian news agency Tasnim.

US lawmakers in the lower House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the sanctions bill on Tuesday, after a similar measure was passed by the Senate last month.

The Senate must now consider the package passed by the House before the bill makes its way to President Donald Trump to be approved or vetoed.

The bill also includes sanctions on North Korea targetting its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes as well as use of slave labour.

Along with the sanctions package against the three countries, the bill contains a measure to make it difficult for the president to remove the sanctions later on.

The bill poses a dilemma for Trump, as he has promised to rebuild bilateral relations with Russia and has expressed admiration for President Vladimir Putin.

But Trump‘s administration has come under fire amid allegations of attempted collusion with the former Cold War foe. Vetoing the bill that aims to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election would likely fuel accusations Trump is too friendly with Moscow.

US-Russian ties in recent years have been severely frayed as the great powers support opposing sides in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. The Ukraine conflict specifically has already led Western powers, including the US, to impose sanctions against Russia.

 

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