— by David Streeter
Last Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which contained new sanctions targeted towards Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported:
The new Iran measures target the country’s energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, already in the sights of U.S. sanctions. But the legislation goes further, restricting trade with Iran in precious metals, graphite, aluminum and steel, metallurgical coal and software for integrating industrial processes.
Under the bill, the President would have to report back to Congress on whether any material was being used as barter to furnish transactions with Tehran as a way to avoid sanctions.
It also targets the state broadcast network, called the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, which the law says violated human rights by broadcasting forced confessions and show trials. The law orders the U.S. Treasury to slap sanctions on Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and its president, Ezzatollah Zargami.
Sanctions already in place have battered the Iranian economy, which has seen its currency crumble in value and its oil exports plummet.