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Australia expands sanctions against Iran

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January 9, 2013 11:48 PM EST | AP

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia has expanded sanctions against Iran amid growing concerns over the country's suspected nuclear weapons program.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in a statement Thursday that the new sanctions affect the financial, trade, energy and transport sectors.

Car said: "These sanctions further increase pressure on Iran to comply with its nuclear non-proliferation obligations and with U.N. Security Council resolutions and to engage in serious negotiations on its nuclear program."

He said the new measures are broadly aligned with those introduced by the European Union and other countries.

Iran's oil exports have fallen by about half in recent months due to the punitive oil and banking measures enacted by countries including Australia and the United States over concerns Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran denies that it is developing weapons.