In a move rife with political risk, President Obama gave the go-ahead for robust sanctions to take hold in June aimed at choking off Iran’s oil exports.

AFP via Yahoo News:

With just hours to go before a deadline to decide, Obama determined the United States could punish banks and other financial institutions for buying oil from Iran, without causing a global oil shock.

The step could have major implications for Tehran and its customers, forcing firms and countries to choose between trade with the United States and Iranian oil.

China, South Korea, India, Japan and the European Union are major buyers of crude from Tehran.

The measures call on countries to “significantly reduce” oil imports from Iran — although not stop them all together — or face being frozen out of the US financial system.

Many countries have spent months scrambling to reduce dependence on Iranian oil before the sanctions go into effect in June.

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