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DATE=3/1/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=CONGRESS-IRAN (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-259732 BYLINE=PAULA WOLFSON DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The U-S Congress has completed action on a bill that could result in sanctions on nations, companies, or individuals that help Iran develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. V-O-A's Paula Wolfson reports the measure now heads to the White House for President Clinton's signature. TEXT: The bill is designed to stop all foreign support for Iran's advanced weapons program. It cleared Congress after a lengthy legislative process. The House of Representatives passed a stronger bill last year. But in the end, House members overwhelmingly agreed to substitute a watered- down version endorsed by the Senate. The original House bill required the President to impose sanctions on countries, companies, and individuals that contribute to Iran's efforts to develop ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. But the bill going to the White House simply gives the president the authority to impose punishment. The measure has brought strong statements of condemnation from Tehran and Moscow. It singles out Russia for special attention. The bill links further payments to Russian entities involved in the International Space Station, to Russian cooperation in non-proliferation efforts. Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner chairs the House Science Committee. /// SENSENBRENNER ACT /// The bill holds the Russian government accountable by preventing payments to the Russian Aviation and Space Agency if it - or any of the entities for which it is legally responsible - is involved in inappropriate technical assistance to Iran. /// END ACT /// As members of the House rose for one last time to speak about the legislation, there was a rare display of bipartisanship. Democrats stood strongly with Republicans. Most echoed the sentiments of California Democrat Howard Berman. /// BERMAN ACT /// I would welcome an improvement in U-S - Iranian relations. But a constructive and peaceful bilateral relationship must be based on Iran's willingness to abandon its quest for weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, to drop its efforts to disrupt the Middle East peace process, and to improve its dismal human rights record. ///end act/// President Clinton had vowed to veto the original House bill. But there are strong indications he will sign the modified version that finally cleared Congress. (Signed) NEB/PW/ENE/gm 01-Mar-2000 15:09 PM EDT (01-Mar-2000 2009 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .