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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Angered by U.S. Bill

Moscow slammed Washington on Thursday for passing "anti-Russian" legislation after the U.S. House of Representatives voted for a bill requiring tough measures against countries that help Iran to build weapons.

The legislation "is a serious blow to our cooperation with the United States in the key questions of securing international security and stability," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The House unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that would require the U.S. president to tell Congress every six months which countries, foreign companies or individuals had helped Iran develop nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or the missiles to carry them.

The president would then be required to take punitive action against anyone deemed to have breached the prohibition by imposing economic sanctions or suspending military aid. If he did not, he would have to explain his decision to Congress.

Washington has long accused Russian institutes and companies of helping Iran to develop weapons of mass destruction, a charge Moscow denies. Russia, which is building a nuclear reactor for Iran, says all its nuclear cooperation with Iran is of a strictly civilian nature.

The Foreign Ministry termed the U.S. move "an escalation of anti-Russian sanctions."