Report: U.S., U.K., and Canada Set to Announce New Iran Sanctions

Two U.S. officials tell ABC News new measures, to be imposed Monday, will discourage foreign banks from doing business with Iran.

The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada are set to announce a new round of sanctions against Iran on Monday, U.S. officials told ABC News.

The new sanctions will take aim at Iran’s financial system, without targeting Iran’s central bank, as well as its petrochemicals sector.

Nuclear reactor, Isfahan, Iran - AP - 2009/2011

Two U.S. officials, speaking anonymously, told ABC on Sunday that the U.S. Treasury is expected to label Iran’s financial system a “jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern.”

Such a move would require U.S. banks to prove that their foreign accounts do not deal with Iran, discouraging banks from doing business with Iran.

One U.S. official told ABC that Iran’s Central Bank and oil and gas sector would not be targeted in this new round of sanctions out of fear that these measures would lead to increased oil prices, and damage to the U.S economy.

The officials also told ABC  that the State Department will target Iran’s petrochemical industry with new sanctions aimed at discouraging foreign direct investment, which could indirectly aid Iran’s energy sector, and undermine other sanctions.

The State Department is expected to target both foreign and Iranian companies that have been making the most of opportunities in Iran’s petrochemical sector as foreign companies pull out in fear of sanctions.

Some of these are Revolutionary Guard Corps-controlled organizations, according to the ABC news report.

Concurrently, European countries are also planning on announcing further sanctions,

ABC also reported that further U.S. sanctions will take aim at Iran’s nuclear sector, as well as targeting its energy and financial sectors.

Meanwhile, the U.K. and Canada will announce sanctions curbing Iran’s access to those British and Canadian economies and markets, the ABC report said.

Anxieties about Iran's nuclear program increased after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released intelligence last week suggesting Iran has undertaken research and experiments geared to developing a nuclear weapons capability.

Iran, which denies it wants nuclear weapons, has condemned the findings of the Vienna-based IAEA as "unbalanced" and "politically motivated."

The report increased tensions in the Middle East and led to redoubled calls in Western capitals for stiffer sanctions against Iran. Last year, the U.S. Congress approved sanctions that targeted Iran's energy and banking sectors, threatening to penalize foreign companies that did business with Tehran.

Those sanctions took particular aim at Iran's ability to refine crude oil into petroleum products such as gasoline.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: במוקד הסנקציות החדשות נגד איראן: התעשייה והבנקים