August 2, 2017 | Quoted by Joyce Karam - The National

Trump accuses Russia of ‘subversion and destabilisation’ as he signs sanctions bill

US president Donald Trump accused Russia of “subversion and destabilisation” on Wednesday in a rare display of public criticism towards Moscow, as he added his final signature to a bill relating to sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, which received overwhelming backing from members of Congress is now US law.

“America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process, and … we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization,” Mr Trump said, adding also that he favoured tough measures to “punish and deter bad behavior by the rogue regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang”.

Mark Dubowitz, an expert on sanctions at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, told The National that “the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Iran, Russia and North Korea sanctions left the [Trump] administration little choice but to sign the legislation.”

If the White House had vetoed the bill, Congress would have had the numbers to override that veto.

Mr Dubowitz called the legislation “a step in the right direction against three dangerous regimes”, saying “the bill imposes tough sanctions against the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and those supporting Iran's missile programme while creating much greater risks for foreign companies engaging with an Iranian economy over which the IRGC has enormous control”.

“The legislation also squeezes the hard currency earnings of both Moscow and Pyongyang as both regimes continue to increase their threats against the US and our Middle Eastern and Asian allies,” he added.

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Iran Iran Sanctions North Korea Russia