Obama signs bill imposing Iran banking sanctions

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 31, 2011 3:18 PM
Obama signs bill imposing Iran banking sanctions

HONOLULU (Reuters) - President Barack Obama signed a sweeping U.S. defense funding bill on Saturday that includes new sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank, but cited concerns about sections that expand the U.S. military's authority over terrorism suspects and limit his powers in foreign affairs.

"The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it," Obama said in a statement, citing limits on transferring detainees from the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and requirements he notify Congress before sharing some defense missile information with Russia as problematic.

The bill, approved by Congress last week, aims with its Iran sanctions to reduce Tehran's oil revenues but gives the U.S. president powers to waive penalties as required. Senior U.S. officials said Washington was engaging with its foreign partners to ensure the sanctions can work without harming global energy markets, and stressed the U.S. strategy for engaging with Iran was unchanged by the bill.

(Reporting By Laura MacInnis; Editing by Will Dunham)