The US Senate chambers. (photo credit:REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted on Wednesday to proceed with a bill that would sanction Iran over its ballistic missile activity, its human rights record and its funding of terrorist organizations across the Middle East, just hours after the Iranian capital suffered a significant terrorist attack.

The timing of Wednesday’s vote – a procedural hurdle before the Senate votes on the bill itself, likely on Thursday – caused several Democratic senators to feel compelled to vote against the measure.

Nevertheless, 92 members voted to move forward with the legislation, with just seven voting against.

The bill, titled the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, would target what diplomats and lawmakers characterize as Iran’s “nonnuclear” activity – programs of concern to the US government that are not directly related to its nuclear work.