U.S. announces new sanctions against Iran
The Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran. Iran faces new sanctions over its nuclear program.
July 31st, 2012
02:17 PM ET

U.S. announces new sanctions against Iran

President Barack Obama announced new U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's oil Tuesday, warning Tehran that it faces "growing consequences" for refusing to answer international questions about its nuclear program.

The first set of sanctions announced will target the Islamic republic's energy and petrochemical industries, a move designed to "deter Iran from establishing payment mechanisms for the purchase of Iranian oil to circumvent existing sanctions," a White House statement explains.

The statement continues, "Sanctions are also authorized for those who may seek to avoid the impact of these sanctions, including against individuals and entities that provide material support to the National Iranian Oil Company, Naftiran Intertrade Company, or the Central Bank of Iran, or for the purchase or acquisition of U.S. bank notes or precious metals by the government of Iran."

The second set of sanctions will target banks, "a significant step to hold responsible institutions that knowingly enable financial transactions for designated Iranian banks," the statement said.

The Department of Treasury specifically targeted Bank of Kunlun in China and Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq. The two financial institutions are alleged to have facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars for Iranian banks that are under sanctions because of the country's nuclear proliferation activities, according to the statement.

"By cutting off these financial institutions from the United States, today’s action makes it clear that we will expose any financial institution, no matter where they are located, that allows the increasingly desperate Iranian regime to retain access to the international financial system," the statement says.

The U.S. will continue seeking a diplomatic solution, the statement says, but if Iran keeps defying the international community the U.S. and its partners will work to "impose increasing consequences."

"Since taking office, we have presented the Iranian government with a clear choice: Come in line with your international obligations and rejoin the community of nations, or face growing consequences," the statement says. "With these actions, we are once again reaffirming our commitment to hold the Iranian government accountable for its actions."

Western powers have long alleged that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons, while Iran has insisted that its program is solely for peaceful civilian energy purposes.

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Filed under: Energy • Iran • Nuclear • U.S. • World
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. s~

    Gas prices will go up again... here we go....

    July 31, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nico

      We don't buy Iranian oil

      July 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sid Higgins

    Ok... Now queue threat to block the Straight of Hormuz.... again...

    July 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anchorite

    Wasn't the LAST election filled with a debate about who hated Iran more? I'm sorry, Iran has never scared me. If anything I think they'd make a great ally, but apparently they have oil and they have pipelines from "our" oil in the Caspian Sea Basin to the Indian Ocean, and we don't want to pay for them, so we're going to do this song and dance again so we can invade.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • lsgyrl08

      So, we should just forget about the Iranian Hostage Crisis in '79 and make them an ally Seriously?

      July 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ART

    Silly Republicans war mongers, if we attack Iran I want at least one of Romney's many sons front and center in the battle field

    July 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Silly liberal coward, if we don't stop them and we are the victim of a nuclear attack on any level, I want you and your family to be the last ones treatd for radiation exposer.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      At least one of Romney's five sons? How about all five of Romney's sons?

      July 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chris


    oh, this is cnn and all.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bam

    just send mittens to Iran, let him meet the Ayatollah and BAM he will be an exact copy of the Ayatollah... mittens has no control over his Chameleonism.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    With all these sanctions on Iranian banks, hopefully Mitt Robmoney's assets get frozen inadvertently.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JDM

    If you want to be taken seriously don't start you comment off with LOL. That is a sure-fire sign of ignorance.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    I can't tell the difference between his policy and Romney's. I'm baffled by both of them.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Matt

    US can NOT be police man of world and bullying every country, who has different opinion than US. This is totally illegal and violates every international regulation. Mr. Obama as well as the GOP runner is playing with Iran to get votes and Jewish support in US. It is so disappointing that US policy is run by Israel and some people in Florida and election contributors. You do NOT know Iranian people, they will NOT accept bullying and force, regardless who is running he country in Iran. Your approach is wrong to change leadership, if that is your focus.

    Regardless what leadership may have in Iran, there is NO return path and Iran will be nuclear state. You better accept it once for all and set US policy accordingly.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      President Obama is just fulfilling his obligation as leader of the free world to see that UN mandate to maintain global peace and stability is enforced. And if that is wrong, then write to your congressman/woman and call on them to vote to dismantle the UN.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RuSerious

    So everyone on the Obama side complains about the expensive wars from the Bush days, yet don't complain about the expensive failed bail outs, the expensive Obamacare, the expensive entertainment for the First family....take off the blinders. You may not have been for the wars, but try to keep in mind while you like to credit Obama with the killing of Bin Laden, we wouldn't have been there if not for 9/11 and Bush's reaction. And he didn't do crap expect so OK do it. Thank the SEALs, not Obama.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • lsgyrl08


      July 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      @ RuSerious

      President Obama is the GRESTEST President in US history! Eat your heart out confederate.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lxNay

    Next thing we will be hearing about are sightings of mysterious aluminium tubes. Stay tuned.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      No, those aluminium tubes are now at Crawford Ranch.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul

    Just love how Republicans are so ready to goto war. Not like it is your kids who have to go over there and actually fight the war.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    I am sure there will be another sanction against Iran just a day before Florida Jewish voting for presidential election. Lets play.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      And what part of the Jewis vote was the killing of OBL or Awalaki for rightwing moron?

      July 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. w5cdt

    Iran's leaders couldn't care less. They are too macho to be reasonable. Plus they LOVE the attention.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
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