US, UK, Canada to Announce Coordinated Sanctions on Iran
The United States and its British and Canadian allies are preparing to roll out a coordinated set of on Monday amid growing concern that Tehran is pursuing a , sources tell ABC News.
U.S. officials familiar with the plans say they target financial sector.’s nuclear sector as well as plugging key gaps that have allowed Iran to work around existing sanctions on its energy and financial sectors. The United Kingdom and Canada are both expected to announce unilateral measures to limit Iran’s access to their economies, with the UK essentially cutting off Iran’s access to its
European Union ministers are expected to meet on December 1 to consider their own sanctions.
Two U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity given the diplomatic sensitivities involved, say the will sanction Iran’s petrochemical industry, which is normally used to produce products like plastic and styrofoam but is increasingly used to refine petroleum, as international sanctions have constrained the capacity of Iran’s energy sector. The new measure aims to discourage foreign companies from investing in that industry because it could inadvertently aid Iran’s energy sector and undermine previous sanctions.
The State Department is also expected to target both foreign and Iranian entities, many controlled by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, that have begun to help out with critical tasks in Iran’s oil and gas sector, picking up the slack as foreign companies pull out for fear of running afoul of sanctions.
A State Department spokesman declined to comment for this story.
The Treasury Department, meanwhile, is expected to issue a finding that the Iranian financial system is a “jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern.”
The finding, made under section 311 of the USA Patriot Act, enables the Secretary of the Treasury to require American banks to conduct additional reporting to ensure their corresponding foreign accounts are not indirectly dealing with Iran. That extra vigilance, officials say, will have a cascade effect where foreign financial institutions are more reluctant to do business with Iran.
The State Department and Treasury Department are also expected to designate additional Iranian entities for their role in Iran’s nuclear program.
A Treasury Department spokeswoman also declined to comment for this story.
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