Sanctions vs. Central Bank.IranSubmitted by donvino on Sun, 09/04/2011 - 12:07
"Senators Push for Bank Sanctions
U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile, are pressing the Obama administration to adopt additional sanctions targeting Iran’s central bank, a move that could reduce Iran’s oil revenues but also affect world energy markets and raise oil prices.
Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a letter signed by 90 other senators to President Barack Obama Aug. 4 stating, “[W]e urge you to strongly consider imposing sanctions against the [Central Bank of Iran] and to encourage key allies to join us in this important action.” Sanctions legislation signed into law last year similarly urges the president to sanction Iran’s central bank under a “sense of Congress” provision.
In their letter, the senators said the central bank “lies at the center of Iran’s circumvention strategy” to skirt U.S. and international sanctions on Iran’s financial sector. The letter quotes May 5 testimony by Undersecretary of the Treasury David Cohen to the Senate Banking Committee stating, “[W]e remain concerned that the [Central Bank of Iran] may be facilitating transactions for sanctioned Iranian banks.”
The UN Security Council has sanctioned two Iranian banks for proliferation-related activities, and the United States and European Union have sanctioned additional banks for their roles in financing proliferation and terrorism.
Kirk was quoted Aug. 8 in The Wall Street Journal as stating that if the Obama administration does not sanction Iran’s central bank, “[T]he administration will face a choice of whether it wants to lead this effort or be forced to act,” saying that he would introduce legislation to impose such sanctions by the end of the year.
Former U.S. officials said in August that since the George W. Bush administration, the United States has believed that the central bank has been engaged in sanctionable activities but that Washington has been reluctant to impose sanctions unilaterally because it might create difficulties for U.S. allies trading with Iran...."