Obama Tightens Sanctions, Freezes Assets In Bid To Isolate Iran

The Obama administration released today a letter to Congress submitted Sunday reviewing a new executive order from the President drawing on provision of existing laws to enact sanctions against entities doing business with the Iranian central bank, including freezing any assets that do such business held by foreign branches of American banks. President Obama cited “deceptive practices” by Iranian banks “to conceal transactions of sanctioned parties” when enacting the sanctions. The moves are widely seen as part of a program to further isolate Iran from the international economy, devaluing its currency and increasing the cost on Iran for its policies, particularly its standoff with the West over its nuclear program.