| WASHINGTON, June 7
WASHINGTON, June 7 The U.S. Senate voted
overwhelmingly on Wednesday to advance a bill that would impose
new sanctions on Iran, the same day at least 12 people were
killed in attacks in Tehran, as lawmakers planned to add a
package of sanctions on Russia to the measure.
The vote was 92-7 on a procedural motion to end debate on
the Iran sanctions bill, clearing the way for a vote later on
passage of the legislation.
Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, said most members of
his party supported the Iran bill, but that they would only
agree to let it go ahead because they expected it would be
amended to include "a strong package" of new sanctions on Russia
Many lawmakers have been clamoring for new sanctions on
Russia over its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election,
annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for Syria's
government in that country's six-year-long civil war.
Schumer said he was negotiating with the Senate's Republican
leaders on the Russia sanctions.
Some senators had urged that Wednesday's procedural vote be
delayed, arguing that the timing was inappropriate because of
the attacks in Iran.
"The country has just suffered from two significant
terrorist attacks after electing a moderate government with 57
percent of the vote — we need to give Iran the opportunity to
recover and set a new course," Democratic Senator Dianne
Feinstein said in a statement.
A senior Senate aide said the Iran sanctions measure could
come up for a vote as soon as next week.
The legislation would impose new sanctions on Iran over its
ballistic missile development, arms transfers, support for
Islamist militant groups and human rights violations. The Senate
Foreign Relations Committee passed it 18-3 last month.
To become law, the measure would also have to pass the
Republican-led House of Representatives and be signed by
President Donald Trump.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)