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Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 01:28 GMT
Congress passes Iran anti-nuclear bill


The United States Congress has unanimously approved a bill which aims to deter Russia or any other country from helping Iran acquire weapons of mass destruction.

The bill, known as the Iran Non-Proliferation Act, empowers Mr Clinton to impose sanctions on countries which transfer materials which Tehran could use to develop nuclear or biological weapons -- or missile technology.

Correspondents say the vote by the House of Representatives, following one in the Senate last week, puts further pressure on President Clinton to sign the bill into law, despite reservations within his administration about the need for the measure. Lawmakers in both Houses said that while they welcomed the success of reformers in the recent Iranian parliamentary election, they wanted to send a strong message to any forces pushing for the development of nuclear weapons in Iran. Both Iran and Russia have angrily denounced the Act.

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