Iran today called the tightening of US sanctions an “antagonistic move.” On Monday, President Obama signed an executive order freezing all assets of the Iranian government in the US. The move was intended to close loopholes in existing sanctions on Iran, especially those imposed against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
“It is an antagonistic move, a psychological war which has no impact. There is nothing new, it has been going on for over 30 years,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. “Sanctions will not have any impact on our nuclear course,” he added [IRNA, 7 February].
In a letter to Congress, Obama said Iranian banks, including CBI, were hiding transactions to undercut the financial sanctions the United States and other powers have imposed in response to Iran's nuclear program. Now, US institutions are required to seize any Iranian state assets they come across, rather than rejecting the transactions involved, as the Iranian money moves through the world financial system and its oil is sold in dollars.