<!-- IMAGE -->
The United States shares the commitment of the P5+1 – the 5 permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany -- to meaningful negotiations with Iran to resolve the international community's concerns about the nature of Iran's nuclear program.
However, the P5+1 have agreed upon a dual-track approach: there are and must be consequences for the Iranian leadership’s unwillingness to fulfill its international nuclear obligations. The dual-track approach recognizes sanctions as an important tool, alongside engagement, to help clarify the choice before Iran’s leadership and encourage the leadership to take the steps required to fulfill its international obligations, in order to secure a better future for Iran within the international community.
During her recent visit to Moscow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained the P5+1's dual track approach when she said that diplomatic engagement with Tehran over its nuclear program should be given a chance to bear fruit; but in the absence of significant progress and assurance that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, the United States will continue to seek international support for additional sanctions on Iran.
In testimony before the U.S. Congress earlier this month, Stuart Levey, U.S. Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said that the financial measures applied by the U.S. and the international community on Iran since 2006 have already had a significant impact:
"At this point, most of the world's major banks have cut off or significantly scaled back their business with Iran, and Iran is increasingly dependent on an ever shrinking number of trade and finance facilitators."
Foreign investment in Iran has declined substantially as well, Mr. Levey said:
"There is now broad acknowledgement that the Iranian government engages in deceptive financial and commercial conduct, in order to obscure its development of nuclear missile programs, and to facilitate its support for terrorism."
International understanding of those practices have been underscored by the U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iran and by six warnings issued by the Financial Actions Task Force about the risk Iran poses to the financial system, said Under Secretary of Treasury Levey.
Mr. Levey said that the U.S. is now "intensifying work with our allies and other partners, to ensure that if we must strengthen sanctions, we will do so with as much international support as possible. We think that will be critical to our success."