The Obama administration on Monday will name Iran, including its central bank, as a territory of “primary money laundering concern,” say senior U.S. officials, in an effort to further pressure Tehran after recent disclosures about its alleged role in terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.
The U.S. Treasury Department won’t formally sanction Iran’s central bank, Bank Markazi, as many Republican and Democratic lawmakers are demanding.
But U.S. officials said this new action would serve as a warning to governments and businesses in Europe, Asia and Latin America to wind down their ties to Bank Markazi and their purchases of Iranian crude oil, as even tougher actions likely will be coming down the road.
U.S. allies are expected to take similar steps in the coming days to pressure Iran and Bank Markazi.
It’s unclear if the Obama administration’s new actions against Iran will be enough to satisfy Congress’s increasingly aggressive stance toward Tehran.
A coalition of Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and House of Representatives have been moving to force the White House’s hand on Bank Markazi by offering legislation requiring sanctions.
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