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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

INTRO:  The U-S Congress has completed action on a 
bill that could result in sanctions on nations, 
companies, or individuals that help Iran develop 
weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.   
V-O-A's Paula Wolfson reports the measure now heads to 
the White House for President Clinton's signature.
TEXT:  The bill is designed to stop all foreign 
support for Iran's advanced weapons program.  
It cleared Congress after a lengthy legislative 
process.  The House of Representatives passed a 
stronger bill last year.  But in the end, House 
members overwhelmingly agreed to substitute a watered-
down version endorsed by the Senate.
The original House bill required the President to 
impose sanctions on countries, companies, and 
individuals that contribute to Iran's efforts to 
develop ballistic missiles and weapons of mass 
destruction.  But the bill going to the White House 
simply gives the president the authority to impose 
The measure has brought strong statements of 
condemnation from Tehran and Moscow.  It singles out 
Russia for special attention. The bill links further 
payments to Russian entities involved in the 
International Space Station, to Russian cooperation in 
non-proliferation efforts.
Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner chairs the 
House Science Committee. 
            /// SENSENBRENNER ACT ///
      The bill holds the Russian government
      accountable by preventing payments to the
      Russian Aviation and Space Agency if it - 
      or any of the entities for which it is legally 
      responsible - is involved in inappropriate 
      technical assistance to Iran.
            /// END ACT ///
As members of the House rose for one last time to 
speak about the legislation, there was a rare display 
of bipartisanship.  Democrats stood strongly with 
Republicans.   Most echoed the sentiments of 
California Democrat Howard Berman.
            /// BERMAN ACT ///
      I would welcome an improvement in U-S - Iranian 
      relations. But a constructive and peaceful 
      bilateral relationship must be based on Iran's 
      willingness to abandon its quest for weapons of 
      mass destruction and ballistic missiles, to drop 
      its efforts to disrupt the Middle East peace 
      process, and to improve its dismal human rights 
            ///end act///
President Clinton had vowed to veto the original House 
bill.   But there are strong indications he will sign 
the modified version that finally cleared Congress.  
01-Mar-2000 15:09 PM EDT (01-Mar-2000 2009 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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