President Barack Obama issued an executive order Tuesday that implements sanctions legislation he signed into law in August.
The sanctions, which sailed through Congress, are part of a broader effort to target Iran for not complying with U.S. and Western pressure to halt its nuclear program, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes.
“This sanctions effort has produced profound and demonstrable results,” said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, in a statement.
Among other things, the law closes loopholes in existing sanctions on Iran, and adds penalties for those aiding Iran’s petroleum, petrochemical, insurance, shipping and financial sectors. It also broadens the list of available programs under which sanctions can be imposed on Iranian individuals and entities.
Parent companies of foreign subsidiaries violating sanctions can be targeted, and all sanctionable activity must be disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the new law.
Obama signed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 into law in August. The executive order issued Tuesday creates a framework for implementing the sanctions, and it delegates certain powers to the Secretaries of Treasury and State to enforce the law.
Vietor said in the statement the Obama administration will continue to work with Congress “in furtherance of our shared objective to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Iran’s economy is reeling from a currency crisis due in part to U.S. sanctions. On Tuesday, Tehran censored websites that usually give foreign currency rates for its pummeled money.
“The onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations with respect to its nuclear program. If the Iranian government continues its defiance, there should be no doubt that the United States and our partners will continue to tighten our sanctions and impose increasing consequences,” Vietor said.