The international community is increasing pressure on the Iranian government over Iran's failure to meet its international nonproliferation obligations. In June, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 1929 imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Iran because of its continued refusal to comply with UN Security Council obligations, including suspending its proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities, and fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency in order to demonstrate that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.
The U.S. imposed additional measures, augmenting the UN Security Council sanctions by targeting institutions and individuals who help Iran finance it’s nuclear and missile programs. Australia had previously announced its new measures, and now the European Union and Canada have also approved supplemental tough sanctions aimed at Iran's financial, transportation, trade and energy sectors, as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley welcomed "the strong steps by the European Union and Canada."
"These measures, combined with the new and existing U.S. sanctions, underscore the international community's deepening concerns about Iran's nuclear program and refusal to live up to its international responsibilities. We've already begun to see the impact of these sanctions as companies around the world refuse to do business with Iran rather than risk becoming involved in Iran's nuclear program and other illicit activities."
In a joint statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner praised the EU and Canada for their decisive actions, but said they "regret their necessity."
The United States, they said, remains committed to a diplomatic solution that resolves the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program. "We will continue to work with the European Union, Canada, the P5+1 and all of our partners to pursue our dual track approach of engagement and pressure to achieve this objective and await Iran's official reply to the P5+1's outstanding offer of talks," said Secretaries Clinton and Geithner. "We once again urge Iran's leaders to pursue a path of cooperation and responsibility rather than confrontation and further isolation."