March 30th, 2012
02:58 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - President Obama ratcheted up the pressure on Iran Friday, deciding to implement previously announced sanctions that will be the toughest to date.
The decision declares that world oil markets can be adequately supplied even if a significant portion of Iran's 2.2 million barrels a day in oil exports is taken off the table.
"There is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions," Obama said in a statement.
The sanctions, announced late last year, are aimed at getting Iran to give up its nuclear program - a program Iran says is for peaceful purposes but many suspect is intended to produce a bomb.
The decision was widely expected.
"It's hard to imagine the White House would have invited the political ramifications of stalling on Iran," said Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners. That could have been "devastating for key voter blocs in battleground states."
The sanctions target Iran's central bank, which the country uses to facilitate its oil trade. They subject any bank, company or government that does business with Iran's central bank to U.S. sanctions.
In effect, it forces people to choose between doing business with Iran and doing business with the United States.
The sanctions are slated to take full effect June 28, and a full embargo of Iranian oil from the European Union is set for July 1.
The sanctions had already begun ramping up, and analysts estimate Iranian's exports dropped by about 300,000 barrels a day over the last few months.
Read more over at CNN Money.
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