Thune statement on Iran and Russia sanctions

A statement from U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, moments ago:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement regarding passage of the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, legislation that provides the Trump administration with the tools necessary to pursue a comprehensive approach for deterring threats from Iran and expands current U.S. sanctions on Russia.

“Iran’s hostile behavior is a threat to our national security,” said Thune. “Time and time again, the Iranian regime has proved it cannot be trusted, and the flawed nuclear deal the Obama administration made is not an excuse for failing to hold Iran accountable. Iran remains the number-one state sponsor of global terrorism and is a principal supporter of the Assad regime in Syria. By imposing tough sanctions on Iran for its continued support for terrorism, prohibited arms transfers, and ballistic missile testing, this legislation sends a powerful signal that our nation stands firm against Iranian aggression.

“The bill also expands sanctions against the government of Russia — a nation that continues to stir unrest in the Middle East. Russia’s continued aggression in Syria, its brazen cyberattacks and interference in elections, and its alarming human rights abuses must not go unchallenged. With passage of this bill, we ensure that Russia will face consequences for its actions.”

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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