sanctions

The White House announced Friday it is imposing additional economic sanctions against Iran, including officials in the Iranian government.

The penalties, promised earlier this week by President Trump, "will cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET Tuesday

Hours after the White House imposed new sanctions against Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a televised speech, President Hassan Rouhani called the move "outrageous and idiotic."

Rouhani called the sanctions a sign that the Trump administration had "become mentally crippled." Earlier, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted that the latest "useless sanctions" marked "the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy."

The U.S. reimposed a round of sanctions against Iran that went into effect early Tuesday, a move the Trump administration hopes will further damage the Iranian economy and force concessions from Tehran on a number of fronts.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says the United States needs to consider new sanctions on Russia's government in order to change its behavior.

Speaking at a news conference in Finland on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin derided the sanctions bill now in the U.S. Congress as "illegal under international law" — but he said Russia's response will depend on what ultimately gets passed.

"We haven't seen the final version yet, so we haven't got any kind of definitive view on it," Putin said, "but we can see that over a lengthy period they are trying to provoke us more and more."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he wants flexibility as he tries to improve ties with Russia. U.S. lawmakers, however, are going in another direction.

The Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill to impose new sanctions on Russia and to make sure the Trump administration doesn't change course without congressional buy-in.

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will continue to waive some sanctions against Iran, a key aspect of the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration and five other world powers.

Under the terms of the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. But those sanctions waivers need to be periodically renewed, and today was the first deadline to fall during President Trump's term.

Sherrod Brown
Nick Castele / ideastream

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to prevent President Donald Trump from easing sanctions against Russia.

The U.S. Treasury Department has modified sanctions against Russia, allowing U.S. companies to interact with Russia's domestic intelligence agency, the FSB.

The sanctions were imposed by the Obama administration on Dec. 29 in the wake of Russia's meddling in the U.S. presidential campaign, and were meant to deprive the FSB of access to some technologies.