US slaps new sanctions on Iran
Washington, May 22 (IANS) The US senate Monday approved new sanctions against Iran's energy sector in an effort to further pressure Tehran on its disputed nuclear programme.
The move came ahead of the next round of talks on Iran's nuclear programme due to start Wednesday in Baghdad.
The talks will be attended by Iran and six world powers -- Germany, France, Russia, Britain, the US, and China.
In a voice vote, the US senate unanimously passed the bill that would sanction Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and expand penalties for energy companies that set up joint ventures with the Islamic republic, Xinhua reported.
The bill requires companies listed on the US stock market to disclose business ties with Iran to the US financial regulatory authorities.
The bill also targets individuals and entities that help Iran to crack down on its protestors.
The property of the designated companies will be frozen and the targeted individuals will be denied visa access to the US, according to the bill.
The US has already targeted Iran's central bank and oil exports for expanded sanctions in its continued efforts to press Tehran to stop its uranium enrichment activities.
The West has been accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the disguise of a civilian energy programme, while Tehran always rejects such charge.
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