Trump says he will sign new Iran sanctions into law

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump said he would sign into law a new sanctions package that includes sanctions targeting Iran.

Trump’s statement came late Friday evening, a day after the Senate had passed the sanctions bill targeting Russia, North Korea and Iran in a 98-2 vote.

“President Donald J. Trump read early drafts of the bill and negotiated regarding critical elements of it,” said a statement issued by the White House. “He has now reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it.”

The bill’s Iran component ramps up sanctions for that country’s missile testing, human rights abuses and backing of terrorism, and further restricts the president’s ability to waive the sanctions.

Trump reportedly was unhappy with the bill because of its Russia component; he favors increased sanctions on Iran and did not express opposition to those elements of the bill.

However, with the overwhelming passage of the bill in the Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in the week, Trump’s ability to veto the bill was effectively nullified.

“The near unanimous votes for the sanctions legislation in Congress represent the strong will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope that there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues and these sanctions will no longer be necessary,” the State Department said in a statement. “We will work closely with our friends and Allies to ensure our messages to Russia, Iran, and North Korea are clearly understood.”

The American Israel Public Relations Committee had lobbied for the sanctions.

Separately on July 28, the Trump administration sanctioned six Iranian entities after Iran tested a space launching device. “Space launch vehicles use technologies that are closely related to those of an intercontinental ballistic missile and this launch represents a threatening step by Iran,” said the statement by the U.S. Treasury.

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