WASHINGTON May 25 The U.S. Senate Foreign
Relations Committee backed legislation on Thursday that would
impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile
development, support for Islamist militant groups, weapons
transfers and human rights violations.
The vote was 18-3 in favor of the legislation, paving the
way for its consideration by the full Senate.
Lawmakers who backed the bill said they do not believe that
its passage, which would require support by the House of
Representatives and President Donald Trump to become law, would
violate terms of the international nuclear agreement with Iran
reached in 2015.
Both Republicans and Democrats have been clamoring for a
response to Iran's ballistic missiles development and other
But the foreign relations committee waited to take up the
bill until after Iran's election on Friday, when President
Hassan Rouhani was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote.
Rouhani broke the taboo of holding direct talks with the
United States and reached the deal to curb Iran's nuclear
program in return for relief from economic sanctions.
Trump has criticized the nuclear deal, which was opposed by
every Republican in Congress and several Democrats. But he has
so far not moved to pull the United States out. Instead, his
administration has said it would closely police Iran's
compliance with the bill and review it, with an eye toward
possibly modifying it to make it stronger.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Grant McCool)