WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- President Obama issued new sanctions against Iran's banks, including its central bank, for their "deceptive practices" in hide dealings of sanctioned parties.
"I have determined that additional sanctions are warranted, particularly in light of the deceptive practices of the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks to conceal transactions of sanctioned parties, the deficiencies in Iran's anti-money laundering regime and the weaknesses in its implementation, and the continuing and unacceptable risk posed to the international financial system by Iran's activities," Obama said in a letter to Congress about the executive order he signed Monday.
Under the order, the Iranian government, the Central Bank of Iran and all other Iranian financial institutions are now blocked, meaning their assets within the jurisdiction of U.S. individuals or entities are frozen, the Treasury Department said in a release.
The Treasury Department said the order blocks all property and interests in property of Iran's government, its banks and all financial institutions that are in the United States now or in the future, or come within the possession or control of U.S. entities. Before Monday's actions, U.S. individuals were required to "reject," rather than "block," Iranian transactions.
The new round of sanctions is the latest effort by the Obama administration to isolate Iran and damage its economy to try to persuade the Islamic republic to end its nuclear ambitions that Western nations say they believe are aimed at developing nuclear weapons capability.