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U.S. Senate Passes Iran Oil Sanctions as EU Blacklist Grows

The U.S. Senate took aim at the Iranian central bank in an effort to choke off oil exports, while the European Union stopped short of targeting crude as it tightened sanctions intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

The Senate bill, passed unanimously yesterday, would give the president the power starting July 1 to bar foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank from having correspondent bank accounts in the U.S. If enacted, it could be much harder for foreign companies to pay for oil imports from Iran, the world’s third-largest crude exporter. The Obama administration opposes the legislation.