US hits Iran with new sanctions | world | Hindustan Times
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US hits Iran with new sanctions

The United States announced fresh sanctions against Iran's energy sector on Monday and warned firms against dealing with Iran's financial sector, as it tried to "sharpen" Iran's choice to pursue nuclear weapons.

world Updated: Nov 22, 2011 10:21 IST

The United States announced fresh sanctions against Iran's energy sector on Monday and warned firms against dealing with Iran's financial sector, as it tried to "sharpen" Iran's choice to pursue nuclear weapons.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, unveiling what she called a "significant ratcheting up of pressure on Iran," said the United States was targeting Iran's energy sector directly for the first time.

"Recent days have brought new evidence that Iran's leaders have continued to defy their international obligations," said Clinton.

Detailing sanctions against goods, services and technologies for the vital petrochemical sector, Clinton said "there have to be consequences of such behavior."

Iran's energy sales are thought to account for around 70 percent of the government's budget and are crucial to the broader Iranian economy.

In tandem Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner issued a warning that any firms doing business with Iran's banking sector could run the risk of funding illicit activities.

The US government named Iran as "a primary money laundering concern," but stopped short of adopting fully blown sanctions against Iran's central bank.

"Financial institutions around the world should think hard about the risks of doing business with Iran," said Geithner.