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US pushes to weaken Iran bank sanction
Obama administration argues for weakened version of sanction on Iran Central Bank
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Obama administration is pressuring Congress to ease the potential impact of crippling sanctions on Iran's Central Bank, arguing that the restrictions will drive up oil prices and be a financial boon for Tehran.

The Senate voted 100-0 last week for the penalties that would target foreign financial institutions that do business with the Central Bank of Iran, barring them from opening or maintaining correspondent operations in the United States. The sanctions would apply to the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products.

House and Senate negotiators are working on the measure as part of a broader defense bill. The administration is seeking changes to delay the sanctions. Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez sent a letter to the negotiators late Monday arguing against any changes.

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