The Obama administration's efforts to pressure Iran, Syria and others are inhibited by the government shutdown, White House press secretary Jay Carney suggested Friday.
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has had to furlough all but 11 of its 175 full-time employees, "meaning that the office is unable to sustain its core functions," Carney said. President Obama will be briefed on the office's shutdown operations later Friday afternoon.
That means its work including issuing new sanctions designations against "those enabling the governments of Iran and Syria, as well as terrorist organizations, WMD proliferators, narcotics cartels and transnational organized crime groups" is impeded. The office also investigates sanctions violations and offers penalties, issuing licenses for humanitarian activities, and issuing new sanctions prohibitions.