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U.S. and Israel praise EU deal to ban Iran crude

NOTE: REFEEDING WITH CORRECTED RESTRICTIONS. The United States applauds Europe's decision to slap new sanctions on Iran - sanctions aimed at keeping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. White House spokesman Jay Carney says the move will keep more money out of Iran's nuclear program. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JAY CARNEY SAYING: "This process will continue to intensify so that Iran understands fully that the pressure will not let up, and the isolation will not stop until they decide to make the right choice." European Union ambassadors agreed on Monday to ban imports of Iranian crude oil and freeze the assets of Iran's central bank - the main conduit for its oil revenue. The U.S. approved sanctions last month to ban countries and institutions that deal with Iran's central bank from participating in U.S. financial markets. Europe's embargo will be phased-in to protect its economy as it battles a debt crisis - giving countries with existing contracts with Iran time to end those deals. In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the EU ban, but warned it might not be enough. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYING: "I think this is a step in the right direction. For now, it is impossible to know what the result of these sanctions will be, but heavy and swift pressure is needed on Iran. These sanctions must be evaluated according to the results they will bring. As of today, Iran continues to develop nuclear weapon with no disruption." Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and accused Europeans on Monday of waging "psychological warfare." Katharine Jackson, Reuters.

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