U.S. Officials Say Iran Sanctions Having 'Dramatic' Effect'

WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials say international sanctions against Iran have cost its government billions and slowed its suspected efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Stuart Levey, the U.S. Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on December 1 that Washington and the international community have "made significant progress" on implementing a strategy toward Iran aimed at putting pressure on Tehran to fulfill its obligations under international nonproliferation treaties.

Levey told the congressional committee that the impact of June's UN Security Council Resolution 1929 -- in addition to bilateral sanctions from the United States and EU that cut Iran off from financial services and energy sector investment, and froze the assets of "a wide range of illicit Iranian actors" -- have sharply impacted Iran's economy.

"What we are seeing thus far is very dramatic. Even banks that had previously been willing to do business with designated Iranian banks are now reversing course and cutting ties with Iran altogether," Levey said.

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