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Obama Authorizes New Iran Sanctions Targeting Currency

President Barack Obama is targeting Iran’s currency for the first time under sanctions authorized yesterday as the U.S. increases economic pressure on the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear program.

Obama signed an executive order that would impose penalties on “foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate significant transactions for the purchase or sale of the Iranian rial,” according to a statement yesterday from White House press secretary Jay Carney. It was the ninth executive order that Obama has signed sanctioning Iran, which will hold presidential elections June 14.