Obama targets evaders of Iran, Syria sanctions

WASHINGTON Tue May 1, 2012 12:58pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (not in photo) during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (not in photo) during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama signed an order giving the Treasury Department more power to go after individuals and groups who try to evade America's sanctions against Iran and Syria.

Treasury said on Tuesday the order gives it "a new authority to tighten further the U.S. sanctions on Iran and Syria."

"Treasury now has the capability to publicly identify foreign individuals and entities that have engaged in these evasive and deceptive activities, and generally bar access to the U.S. financial and commercial systems," the department said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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