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Obama orders new Iran sanctions

  • U.S. President Barack Obama has imposed new economic sanctions against Iran's energy sector and some financial firms.

    The move comes in a bid to prevent Iran from sidestepping existing sanctions by setting up payment mechanisms in order to purchase oil.

    Obama said his government remained committed to reaching a diplomatic solution on Iran, reiterating it was Tehran’s responsibility to meet its international obligations.

    Measures will be taken against companies that have dealings with the National Iranian Oil Company, the Naftiran Intertrade Company or the Central Bank of Iran, or that help Iran buy U.S. dollars or precious metals, he added.

    The sanctions come in response to ongoing concern over Iran's nuclear program, which the country denies is to develop weapons.

    The new sanctions also target China's Bank of Kunlun and Iraq's Elaf Islamic Bank as firms that "knowingly enable financial transactions for designated Iranian banks".