US Senate OK's sanctions on Iran central bank

By REUTERS
December 2, 2011 05:04

 
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WASHINGTON - The US Senate unanimously approved tougher sanctions against Iran on Thursday, voting to penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's central bank, the main conduit for its oil revenues.

The Senate acted despite warnings from Obama administration officials who said threatening US allies might not be the best way to get their cooperation in action against Iran.

Administration officials said they were indeed looking to sanction Iran's central bank, but in a calibrated manner, to avoid roiling oil markets or antagonizing allies.

The United States already bars its own banks from dealing with the Iranian central bank, so US sanctions would operate by dissuading other foreign banks from doing so by threatening to cut them off from the US financial system.

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