U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to push through tougher sanctions against Iran in an effort to further isolate the Islamic Republic from the global economy by squeezing its ability to sell crude oil. The new sanctions will penalize banks that continue to buy oil from Iran, the Associated Press is reporting.
As stipulated in a sweeping defence bill he signed in December, Obama had until Friday to determine whether further restrictions on Iran’s ability to sell oil would harm international markets. Evidently, he determined they wouldn’t.
The hope is that tougher sanctions will convince Iran to abandon its controversial nuclear program, and that they will deter Israel from unilaterally and preemptively attacking Iranian nuclear sites.
The new penalties will take effect in June, a month before the European Union’s oil embargo against Iranian kicks in.
The U.S., Israeli and Canadian government’s believe Iran’s nuclear program is designed to give that country the capability to build atomic bombs. But Iran insists its program is peaceful.