January 23rd, 2012
01:52 PM ET

Sanctions upon sanctions to box in Iran

The European Union and the United States added to the growing list of sanctions meant to pressure Iran into rethinking its nuclear program.  On Monday, the E.U. agreed to cut off oil imports and freeze assets in an effort to starve Iran of funding for its nuclear program.

Soon after the E.U. made its announcement, the U.S. announced it was adding Iran's third largest bank to the banned list, accusing it of providing financial services to other Iranian banks and firms already sanctioned.  The move against Bank Tejarat  chokes off one of Iran’s last access points to the intl financial system, our Elise Labott reports.

The sanctions come after the U.S., Britain and France sent naval vessels across the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf this weekend.  Iran will get some attention Tuesday night, as well.  Expect tough language on Iran from President Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, democratic sources tell Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin.

The U.S. has sanctioned 22 Iranian-linked banks, including all of the state-owned banks, according to the Treasury Department.

The history of U.S. sanctions against Iran dates as far back as 1979, when hostages were held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Over the years, the U.S. government has approved other sanctions. In 2010, amid increasing tensions of Iran's nuclear program, the United States instituted sanctions that U.S. officials described as "unprecedented."

The United Nations and the European Union, and other countries around the world also have sanctions against Iran.

Click here to read more from Josh Levs about the key steps in the efforts to sanction Iran.

Fareed Zakaria GPS's page looks at why the EU efforts take a real bite out of Iranian oil exports.

Filed under: Diplomacy • EU • Iran • Obama • Sanctions
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Josh

    There is no better way nationalize an enemy nation than to put sanctions on it. The U.S. has been involved in nefarious activities against Iran since atleast 1953 with Operation Ajax, sold weapons to Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War, and let's not forget the Iran-Contra Affair.
    Iran is within their legal right to have nuclear facilities. Are you seriously going to listen to the beating war drums when the only WMDs that were found in Iraq were the weapons that the U.S. sold there? Oh, and let's not forget the Kamacea weapons bunker in the first Gulf War.
    At first it was Al-qwayda, then it was Iraq, now it's Iran. More people die of the common cold per year than terrorism. You should really be more worried about peanut or shellfish allergies than terrorism.
    If the U.S. goes to war with Iran or Israel attacks it, some serious s–t is going to hit the fan. Everyone knows that most of the casualties in the recent wars that the U.S. has waged have been civilians. The U.S. has already created more enemies from this asinine foreign policy than in any other time in history.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:34 am | Reply
    • Josh

      skip ahead to 4 minutes and 20 seconds

      February 3, 2012 at 3:37 am | Reply
  2. mipolitic

    this will not box in iran , but it sure could box in pres obama ! iran wants the nuke at all cost so that the great profit will return , and obama is going to allow this to happen if he does not face the evil facts of this situation. be assured if iran gets the bomb , bush and cheney will look angles compared to obama from that point on and through the rest of history. and pres obama is talking about jobs at home when the foundation is about to crumble. i do not know what is going on behind doors , but with what i am watching it does not look strong or good. if russia thinks that this pres is not willing to face off because he is weak the russian will run the foreign policy for the usa. if the russias get ahead of obama in one area they will keep running with the same push back tactics. pray that obama is wise and strong.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  3. Kirk m.

    The problem is we are only making it worse for iranian citizens, their government doesnt give a crap about their citizens. we are in a no win situation, which is right where you should be when engaging in the fracturing of an economy, justb stay the heck out of it and let isreal handle this, therebis no way they will let this go

    January 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply

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