US planning new sanctions against Iran

The sanctions would be aimed at preventing foreign investment in Iran`s petrochemical sector.

Washington: The United States is reportedly is planning a new round of sanctions against Iran, which would be aimed at preventing foreign investment in the Islamic regime’s petrochemical sector.

The development comes after the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), issued a report claiming Iran appeared to be pursuing nuclear weapons technology despite Tehran’s claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

According to sources, the Obama administration is looking to bar foreign firms from investing in Iran’s petrochemical industry, a sanction that would be along the lines of past restrictions on Iran’s oil and gas sectors, Fox News reports.

The White House so far has not commented on the reports, but top officials have stressed the importance of keeping pressure on Iran without resorting to more extreme measures.

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta planned to warn Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak that any military strike on Iran`s nuclear infrastructure could have dire economic consequences.

On another track, Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois is sponsoring legislation, which was introduced on Friday, to sanction Iran’s Central Bank.

Kirk said he is frustrated that the US Treasury is not pushing harder to tighten sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank.