US Congress approves new Iran oil sanctions

The United States could bring in a fresh round of oil sanctions against Iran after its Congress overwhelming voted in favour of a new extra package yesterday. The US wants […]

By Vicky Ellis

The United States could bring in a fresh round of oil sanctions against Iran after its Congress overwhelming voted in favour of a new extra package yesterday. The US wants to punish bankers and shippers who help Iran sell oil, according to reports.

It follows President Obama’s announcement of new oil sanctions on Tuesday which are “tightening and ramping up” pressure on the Middle Eastern state, when he approved a new executive order which imposes new sanctions against the Iranian energy and petrochemical sectors.

The new measures must be signed off by the White House before coming into force.

This comes on top of sanctions adopted by Western states including the EU’s oil embargo and ban on insuring oil shipments, meant to pressure Tehran to stop developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies it has a nuclear arms programme.

According to the International Energy Agency, Iran’s crude oil exports have dropped by about 40-50% as pressure on the country’s oil trade mounts.