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Obama Issues More Sanctions Against Iran

Jeremy Fuster |
June 3, 2013 | 6:32 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Mural outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran ([ john ] /Flickr/Creative Commons)
Mural outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran ([ john ] /Flickr/Creative Commons)
President Barack Obama issued an executive order Monday tightening sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program by directly targeting its currency and automotive industry, Reuters reports. It is the ninth executive order taken against the Middle-Eastern nation.


Iran's currency, the rial, has already lost more than half of its dollar value in the last eighteen months. The new sanctions will affect financial institutions and private accounts outside of Iran that hold or sell large amounts of the rial in the hopes that they will make the rial unusable internationally.


The order will also ban the sale of automotive materials to Iran's auto sector, which officials say is a key source of revenue. These sanctions join others enforced by the U.S. that impact Iran's oil exports, ship-building industry, and gold transfers. According to CBS News, the sanctions have cost Iran between $3 billion and $5 billion in revenue. Another major Iranian export, natural gas, has avoided sanctions because it is delivered to U.S. allies, including Turkey.


SEE ALSO | U.S. Lifts Technology Sales Ban For Iranians


Paul Pillar, a former CIA analyst, told Reuters that sanctions alone will not persuade Iran to cease funding of their nuclear program, which the U.S. suspects is being used to create weapons but Iran insists is only for energy and medical purposes.


"It's a fallacy to think that there is some point at which so many sanctions have been implemented that the Iranians will cry uncle," Pillar said. "They have no incentive to make concessions unless they are led to believe that concessions will bring significant sanctions relief."


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement that the U.S. remains open to negotiations.


"We hold the door open to a diplomatic solution that allows Iran to rejoin the community of nations if they meet their obligations," Carney said. "However, Iran must understand that time is not unlimited. If the Iranian government continues down its current path, there should be no doubt that the United States and our partners will continue to impose increasing consequences."


The sanctions come a week before Iran's presidential election, which will determine who will replace outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

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