WASHINGTON - US senators on Monday urged European Union leaders to do more to stop the Iranian government from using the European Central Bank, saying the bank's payment system may inadvertently be aiding Tehran in financing its nuclear program.

On the eve of talks between Western powers and Iran, lawmakers told the EU's leadership in a letter that Iran may be circumventing American and European sanctions by using the central bank to convert euros into local currency and conduct trade.

"We are concerned that these euro conversions in turn free up significant funds to finance Iranian imports, stabilize Iran's monthly budget and allows the regime to continue to engage in sanctionable and illicit activities," said the letter to Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council.

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