The United States is imposing additional sanctions on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation networks and is taking further steps to prevent the evasion of sanctions by publicly identifying a group of Iranian front companies and banks.
The moves are part of the U.S. government’s dual-track approach of increasing pressure to convince Iran to engage seriously and address the international community’s concerns about its nuclear program.
“Iran today is under intense, multilateral sanctions pressure, and we will continue to ratchet up the pressure so long as Iran refuses to address the international community’s well-founded concerns about its nuclear program,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.
Iran’s economy is hurting both from long-term government mismanagement and from the effects of increasingly biting sanctions, including an embargo on Iranian oil imports by the European Union. Inflation is spiraling; the value of the rial has plummeted; and Iranian oil exports declined sharply from February to June.
Yet Iran continues to refuse to comply with its international nuclear obligations and has not taken steps to provide the international community with confidence that its activities are peaceful in nature.
Although Iranian government leaders have insisted that Iran’s nuclear program is universally supported by the Iranian people, objective evidence of such support is lacking.
It is past time for Iran’s leaders to do what is best for the people of Iran and the world: take the necessary steps to comply with Iran’s international nuclear obligations.
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently, “Iran’s leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran’s. Our own choice is clear. We will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”