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Brown, speaking at a news conference with President Bush, said Britain will work to persuade Europe to follow suit.
The British leader said that assets of Iran's Bank Melli would be frozen. Last year, the United States accused the bank of providing services to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"Action will start today in new phase of sanctions on oil and gas," Brown said. "We will take any necessary action so that Iran is aware of the choice it needs to make."
The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies that, saying its atomic program is aimed at using nuclear reactors to generate electricity.