Leaders of a U.S. House and Senate negotiating panel on Monday said they had agreed to compromise legislation imposing new sanctions that target Iran's central bank, despite Obama administration misgivings over the measure. They said they hoped to pass it this week.

The lawmakers, leaders of the armed services committees from both political parties, said they had made some changes sought by the White House. These added some flexibility in the treatment of foreign institutions that trade with Iran's central bank, Democratic Senator Carl Levin said.

On November 21, the United States, Britain and Canada announced new sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors, but the Obama administration stopped short of targeting Iran's central bank, a step that U.S. officials said could send oil prices skyrocketing and jeopardized global economic recovery.

Earlier this week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak called for sanctions targeting Iranian oil trade and central bank.

Barak said Iran's ruling clerics could use nuclear weapons to strengthen their grip on power and the world must urgently impose crippling sanctions to prevent them from building such arms, Israel's defense minister said.