Iran

Congress Ponders More Iran Sanctions

Would expand penalties to non-oil financial transactions

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Lawmakers in the U.S. Congress are looking at ways to expand economic sanctions on Iran, measures that have helped push the country's currency into free fall but have not yet pressured Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.

The proposals, still in the early stages of development, would aim to penalize foreign banks that handle any significant transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. Only oil-related transactions are now covered.

"We are seriously looking at additional policy options, including further closing the (Central Bank of Iran) to transactions and other measures designed to impact Iran foreign currency reserves," an aide to Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said on Friday.