15:41 GMT +318 January 2020
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    President Barack Obama’s reluctance to use sanctions has undermined US national security and credibility abroad, House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and congressman Todd Young said in an opinion piece published Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Royce and Young accused the Obama administration of blocking efforts by Congress to impose new sanctions against Russia and Syria for alleged human-rights abuses, and of failing to enforce existing sanctions against other nations.

    "To keep America safe, we must beef up US sanctions programs which are designed to disrupt terrorist financing and deter our enemies," the Republican legislators wrote in an article for The Hill newspaper. "Sanctions must be more strictly monitored, evaluated and enforced."

    The administration authorized new sanctions against North Korea only after Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test in January, the lawmakers explained.

    Additionally, they criticized Obama for failing to bring sanctions against Chinese banks and companies accused of supporting North Korea’s nuclear program.

    Furthermore, Royce and Young said Iran has increased its missile development since sanctions were lifted as part of the nuclear deal concluded between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

    The two lawmakers urged the administration to increase its use of sanctions to pressure other nations from a position of economic strength.

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    Tags:
    sanctions, US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, Todd Young, Ed Royce, Syria, Russia, United States
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