President Signs Iran Sanctions Bill

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The Associated Press
Saturday, September 30, 2006; 9:14 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Saturday signed legislation that would impose mandatory sanctions on entities that provide goods or services for Iran's weapons programs.

The Senate passed the bill with no debate Saturday, two days after the House approved the measure following a debate over the wisdom of toughening unilateral sanctions on Tehran at the same time the United States was trying to work with its U.N. partners on a multinational approach to Iran's nuclear threat.

The measure sanctions any entity that contributes to Iran's ability to acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

In a statement, Bush said, "This legislation will codify U.S. sanctions on Iran while providing my administration with flexibility to tailor those sanctions in appropriate circumstances and impose sanctions upon entities that aid the Iranian regime's development of nuclear weapons."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said in a statement that the action "strengthened one of our most important tools in the fight to keep nuclear weapons out of the mullahs' hands."

He said it would encourage the administration to use all available leverage over Russia, a partner in Iranian energy projects, to gain Russian support for multilateral sanctions against Iran.

Bush also signed legislation Saturday extending and amending higher education programs. One part of that bill would authorize cancellation of student loan indebetedness for certain people affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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The bills are H.R. 6198 (Iran) and H.R. 6138 (education).

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On the Net:

White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/


© 2006 The Associated Press

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