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Government Shutdown Puts Iran Sanctions At Risk: White House

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney takes questions from reporters during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House May 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Carney faced more questions related to the Justice Department's subpeona of two months of Associated Press journalists' phone records, the Internal Revenue Services' scrutiny of conservative organization's tax exemption requests, and other topics. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) | Getty

WASHINGTON -- WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is warning that the U.S. sanctions against Iran may suffer because of the partial government shutdown.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Treasury office that handles sanctions had to furlough nearly its entire staff. He says the office can't sustain its core functions.

Carney says that includes new sanctions on Iran, Syria, terrorist groups and drug cartels. The office also investigates and penalizes sanctions violators.

Carney says President Barack Obama will be briefed on the issue Friday.

The warning comes as Israel and many U.S. lawmakers say they're concerned about the U.S. easing sanctions as it explores diplomacy with Iran.

Obama insists that House Republicans hold a vote to reopen the government but they have been passing bills only to reopen popular parts of it.

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