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U.S. Is Considering Giving Iran Limited Access to the Dollar

Treasury Secretary Lew Speech On Economic SanctionsTreasury Secretary Lew Speech On Economic Sanctions
Jack Lew, U.S. Treasury secretaryPhoto by Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Iran might soon have limited access to the American dollar.

The U.S. Treasury is preparing to issue licenses that would allow offshore financial institutions to conduct trade with U.S. currency in support of Iranian business dealings, according to The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. The controversial move would come in response to complaints from Iran that the loosened sanctions in the wake of last year’s deal have done little to boost the country’s long-suffocated economy.

The new move wouldn’t normalize banking relations between the United States and Iran—Iran would still be locked out of the American financial system—but it would ease Iran’s attempts to do business with the West.

In a statement to Fortune, Treasury spokesperson Betsy Bourassa said, “The Wall Street Journal story is inaccurate. The administration has not been and is not planning to grant Iran access to the U.S. financial system.”

Congress won’t need to approve of the Treasury action, but it’s still receiving plenty of blowback from politicians, especially those who disapproved of last year’s Iran deal. House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement Thursday criticizing President Obama for “going out of its way to help Tehran reopen for business” when he says Iran hasn’t held up its side of the bargain.

This post has been updated with comment from the Treasury Department.