|Lalit K Jha,
Washington, Jul 31 - US President Barack Obama today announced additional tough sanctions targetting Iran's energy and petrochemical sectors, which he said are part of efforts to isolate the Iranian government for its failure to meet its international obligations over its nuclear programme.
In a statement, Obama said he has approved a new Executive Order that imposes new sanctions against the Iranian energy and petrochemical sectors.
"This action is designed to deter Iran from establishing payment mechanisms for the purchase of Iranian oil to circumvent existing sanctions, and utilises the existing structure of our sanctions law, including exceptions for significant reductions in the purchase of Iranian oil," he said.
Additionally, existing sanctions on Iran's petrochemical industry are expanded by making sanctionable the purchase or acquisition of Iranian oil, he added.
"Sanctions are also authorised 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 US bank notes or precious metals by the Government of Iran," he said.
"Second, we have also taken a significant step to hold responsible institutions that knowingly enable financial transactions for designated Iranian banks," Obama said.
The Department of the Treasury today imposed sanctions on Bank of Kunlun in China and Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA).
"Bank of Kunlun and Elaf Islamic Bank have facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of Iranian banks that are subject to sanctions for their links to Iran's illicit proliferation activities," he said. PTI