As Iran prepares for its presidential elections on 14 June, the US has announced new sanctions on the Iranian currency and the country’s automotive sector.

US President Barack Obama on 3 June signed an Executive Order imposing for the first time sanctions on Iran’s currency, the rial, in a move intended to further ratchet up the pressure on Iran on account of the nuclear standoff with the west. A senior official in the Obama administration said that the goal is to make the Iranian rial “essentially unusable outside of Iran,” and therefore weaker and more volatile. (CONTINUED - 437 WORDS)