New economic sanctions against Iran have been ordered by U.S. President Barack Obama. In addition to targeting the Iranian oil sector the new sanctions hit banks in China and Iraq, accused of conducting business with Tehran.
Alarabiya reported the White House released a statement saying new sanctions will apply to any entity buying Iranian oil: “This action is designed to deter Iran from establishing payment mechanisms for the purchase of Iranian oil to circumvent existing sanctions.”
Obama said measures are to be taken against any firms found to have dealings with the National Iranian Oil Company, the Naftiran Intertrade Company or the Central Bank of Iran, or that help Iran buy US dollars or precious metals.
Two financial institutions, the Bank of Kunlun in China and the Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq, are to be denied access to the U.S. financial system as they flouted existing sanctions by dealing with Iranian banks.
According to Asia Pacific News China's foreign ministry said the sanctions against the Bank of Kunlun are in violation of the "norms of international relations" and will damage relations between Beijing and Washington.
Increased sanctions have been levied against Iran in an effort to undermine the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. On July 1 the European Union initiated a ban on the import of Iranian oil to all member states.
Jamel Abdi of the National Iranian American Council told Aljazeera that sanctions are not having the desired effect, stressing they allow smugglers to flourish. He maintained that sanctions only cause suffering to ordinary Iranians rather than Tehran's elite.