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Reply #21: U.S. Ratchets Up Economic Pressure on Iran By Barbara Slavin [View All]

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 08:42 AM
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21. U.S. Ratchets Up Economic Pressure on Iran By Barbara Slavin

Under intense pressure from the U.S. Congress and U.S. presidential election politics, the Barack Obama administration Monday declared the Islamic Republic of Iran a "primary money laundering concern" - a designation that stops short of blacklisting Iran's Central Bank but is intended to persuade more foreign governments, banks and companies to curtail business with Iranian financial entities.

Administration officials portrayed the move - coupled with new restrictions on Iran's petrochemical sector and a ban on financial dealings with Iran by Britain and Canada - as a response to an alarming recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The report provides substantial evidence that Iran carried out extensive research into how to make a nuclear weapon prior to 2003 but is less conclusive about a continuing weapons effort.

However, one impetus for the new sanctions is domestic U.S. politics.

Republican candidates for president have singled out the administration's Iran policy as weak even though the Islamic Republic has never faced such stringent and widespread economic sanctions.

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