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US Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties

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Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran’s increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

Among other things, the bill, whose text was seen by Reuters, would impose terrorism-related sanctions on Iranian-controlled militias and require the U.S. Secretary of State to publish and maintain a list of armed groups receiving assistance from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.

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Sponsors of the “Iranian Proxies Terrorist Sanctions Act” include Senators David Perdue, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. A similar bill, backed by Republican Representative Ted Poe, has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

There was no immediate word on when the legislation might be considered by congressional committees, normally the first steps toward becoming law.

Three mortar shells landed inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone just after midnight local time on Friday, the first such attack in several years in the area, which houses parliament, government buildings and many foreign embassies.

On Tuesday, the United States warned Iran that it would “respond swiftly and decisively” to any attacks by its allies in Iraq that resulted in injury to Americans or damage to U.S. facilities.

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Reuters reported last month that Iran had given ballistic missiles to Shi’ite Muslim proxy groups in Iraq and was developing the capacity to build more there, a development likely to exacerbate tensions between Tehran and Washington, already heightened by President Donald Trump.

In May, Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 international nuclear accord with Iran and ordered the reimposition of U.S. sanctions suspended under the deal aimed at stalling Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

Iran’s Sunni Muslim Gulf neighbors and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns about Tehran’s regional activities as a threat to their security.

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Grant McCool


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Edward Snowden responds after Trump DOJ sues whistleblower over new memoir the US government ‘does not want you to read’

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The Justice Department filed suit the day Snowden's memoir Permanent Record was published.

Citing what First Amendment advocates have called an "unconstitutional" system of controlling what federal employees can and cannot say about their work, President Donald Trump's Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden over the publication of his new memoir.

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Corey Lewandowski eventually proved Trump obstructed justice: former US attorney

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Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained in her appearance on MSNBC Tuesday that Corey Lewandowski's attempts to plead "hatchetman privilege" weren't successful. He ultimately outed Trump for breaking the law.

Lewandowski attempted to claim that he couldn't answer any questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's account because he hadn't read it. But the information he personally gave to Mueller was enough to corner both men.

"I mean, Donald Trump has been found to have committed felony finance crimes by the Southern District of New York. Donald Trump has been found -- committed ten acts of criminal obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller and his investigators," host Nicolle Wallace said. "And I think what Ron was just sort of pulling the curtain back on is his suspicion that that may not be the headline, that Corey Lewandowski today confirmed at least two of those instances of criminal obstruction of justice."

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‘Continuing cover-up’: Top House Democrat catches Lewandowski making statement that differs from Mueller Report

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"The American people deserve to know the truth."

A top House Democrat appears to have caught former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski making a statement that differs with a fact in the Mueller report. Lewandowski has spent several hours stonewalling, obfuscating, and doing his best to disrupt the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in what is the first official House impeachment inquiry hearing.

"You stated earlier today that President Trump asked you to take dictation 'many times.' Is that correct?" Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) asked Lewandowski.

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