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Obama Orders New Sanctions Against Iran’s Central Bank

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As tensions continue to rise over Tehran’s nuclear program, President Obama on Monday announced new sanctions against Iran’s financial institutions, saying they have engaged in “deceptive practices.”

“I have determined that additional sanctions are warranted, particularly in light of the deceptive practices of the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks to conceal transactions of sanctioned parties, the deficiencies in Iran’s anti-money laundering regime and the weaknesses in its implementation, and the continuing and unacceptable risk posed to the international financial system by Iran’s activities,” the president wrote in a letter to Congress.

The executive order states that all assets of the Iranian government and banks held in the United States are, “blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn or otherwise dealt in.” The sanctions were included as an amendment to the defense authorization bill that Obama signed into law at the end of 2011.

The move comes amid speculation of a possible Israeli attack on Iran. On Sunday, Obama stressed that diplomacy was still the “preferred solution.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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