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Obama administration boosts penalties against Iran

Thursday - 12/13/2012, 4:51pm  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. is stiffening the penalties against Iran over its nuclear program by blacklisting 12 companies and individuals for their work in transferring sensitive technology and uranium enrichment.

The departments of State and Treasury say they're punishing seven more companies and five more people by freezing any assets they may have in U.S. jurisdictions and barring Americans from doing business with them.

The Treasury says they were targeted because they provide the Iranian government with "unique goods, technology and services" related to the program.

The penalties apply to the procurement arms of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company, along with top executives.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes only.

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