Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Thursday that new sanctions against Iran will protect the international financial system from "the illicit activities of the Iranian government."
The sanctions will "provide a powerful deterrent to every international bank and government that thinks of doing business with the Iranian government," Rice said.
The Bush administration maintains that the Iranian government threatens peace by pursuing nuclear technologies that can lead to a nuclear weapon.
"Iran exploits its global financial ties to pursue nuclear capabilities, develop ballistic missiles and fund terrorism," Paulson said.
The idea is to cut Iran from the international financial system. U.S. sanctions could hurt because of the signal it sends to the rest of the world. The U.S. has put in its list three banks, in addition to the defense ministry and the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Revolutionary Guard Corps controls numerous businesses in Iran, including some in the oil sector. Specifically it means any assets these groups may have in the U.S. will be frozen and Americans can't do business with them.
On the other side of the debate, Rice is playing defense and losing, according to experts who say sanctions only push the two countries into a situation where it will be harder for future administrations to deal with Iran.