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August 9, 2011 5:16 pm

92 Senators Demand Iran Sanction Application

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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The United States Senate.

When 92 US Senators join together with common purpose that alone is news. When sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), or Bank Markazi are the topic, the international financial community must listen.

Led by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), a virtually unanimous – 92% – body of senators has requested immediate application of sanctions against the CBI. The actions of the bank and its duplicitous attempts to circumvent international sanctions are one of Iran’s most aggressive attempts to continue its nuclear program. The bipartisan group says it is “seriously concerned that Iran continues to accelerate its uranium enrichment and ballistic missile programs,” and  have requested “crippling sanctions” against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), recognized as “one of the key financiers of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.” To date, the Administration has not used its power to sanction granted in 2010 under the Iran Sanctions Act.

The Senators state: “the United States should embark on a comprehensive strategy to pressure Iran’s financial system by imposing sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). …The time has come to impose crippling sanctions on Iran’s financial system by cutting off the CBI.”  It notes that the “CBI and Iranian commercial banks have played a central role in the government’s strategy of circumventing international scrutiny.” In their letter, the senators request immediate imposition of the already granted sanctions and similar actions by U.S. allies. “to choke off any cash flow” to Iran’s nuclear program.

The CBI acts as banker to the government of Iran and its many state-owned industries, including its nuclear program. The Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen stated that “the activities of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) have been, and continue to be, a focus of the Treasury Department.”

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