(WASHINGTON) — In the continuing effort to get Tehran to give up its rogue nuclear ambitions, the White House on Wednesday broadened already punishing sanctions against the Iranian government that now include zeroing in on its state broadcasting authority.
This new penalty is an explicit attempt by the Obama administration to affect Iran’s cracking down on dissenters calling for democratic reforms in the theocratic-run nation.
Along with blacklisting the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, which controls all TV and radio broadcasts, the administration also targeted the Iranian Cyber Police and the Communications Regulatory Authority. Both agencies monitor and suppress Internet content deemed seditious to the government.
Under the new sanctions, the U.S. can impound property owned by targeted agencies and their officials and halt transactions they attempt with Americans.
The action comes on top of the Treasury Department further enforcing a 2012 law that curtails Iran’s ability to profit from sales of its oil. Exports already are down by half because of an international embargo that began last year.
Iran’s economy has slumped badly due to the various rounds of sanctions although Tehran is still adamant about pursing its nuclear goals that leaders insist are purely for peaceful purposes.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Lauren del Valle, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN