WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Senate passage of a sweeping sanctions bill that targets Iran and Russia (all times local):
The Republican-led Senate unanimously approved a measure emphasizing the importance of NATO’s mutual defense pact, a not-so-subtle dig at President Donald Trump.
Sen. Lindsey Graham’s resolution passed 100-0 after Trump waffled on his commitment to Article 5. That’s the alliance’s “one for all, all for one” defense agreement.
During a visit to NATO headquarters on his first foreign trip last month, Trump did not explicitly affirm his support for Article 5. But last week, amid questions about how he viewed one of NATO’s founding principles, Trump did back the collective defense pact.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican who ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, says the unanimous vote “should reassure our allies and give notice to our enemies that America stands firmly in support of NATO and our Article 5 commitment.”
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 Russia.
The bipartisan legislation passed overwhelmingly Thursday, 98-2.
The bill penalizes Moscow for interfering in the 2016 election by imposing sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways. Individuals who carried out cyber attacks on behalf of the Russian government are also targeted.
The Senate legislation imposes sanctions on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure also applies terrorism sanctions to Tehran’s Revolutionary Guards and requires the enforcement of an arms embargo.
Senators say the bill won’t impede enforcement of the nuclear agreement with Iran.
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