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Congress kills proposal by Trump CIA pick to require Russia-Iran ties analysis

Sputnik– Negotiators in the US Congress killed an amendment to the 2017 defense budget submitted by Representative Mike Pompeo, recently nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, that would have required the Department of Defense to monitor Russia-Iran activities, a legislative report showed.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The House of Representatives adopted a measure containing “a provision that would require a report on cooperation between Iran and the Russian Federation,” a passage in the National Defense Authorization Act conference report stated. “The Senate bill contained no similar provision, the House recedes.”

Conference reports are issued after negotiators in Congress’ two chambers, the House and Senate, have resolved differences in their respective versions of legislation, and “receding” means one chamber effectively withdraws a change that the other had opposed.

Pompeo’s amendment was included in the version of the defense legislation that the House passed in May. At the time, the congressman said his proposal would help US officials “understand how the increasing ties between Iran and Russia on issues including space, naval cooperation, and Hezbollah affect US national security.”

If the amendment had been kept, the US defense secretary and the secretary of state would have had to provide joint briefings to key congressional committees about Russian-Iranian interests in Latin America; intelligence-sharing by the two countries and Syria; and Russian cooperation with Hezbollah in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.