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U.S. Welcomes EU Sanctions On Iran


European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton speaks with the media as she arrives for a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg on Monday Oct. 15

The additional restrictive measures target Iran’s financial, trade, energy and transport sectors.

The European Union has announced new sanctions on Iran, citing, in a statement, the Iranian government’s “flagrant violation of its international obligations” and refusal to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency over concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, including the program’s “possible military dimension.”

The additional restrictive measures target Iran’s financial, trade, energy and transport sectors. They “are aimed at affecting Iran’s nuclear program and revenues of the Iranian regime used to fund the program,” said the EU, “and are not aimed at the Iranian people.” Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, who has represented the P5 +1 countries – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – in talks with Iran, said the purpose of the sanctions is to induce Iran’s leaders to return to the table for serious negotiations.

The United States welcomes the EU’s adoption of significant new sanctions. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the action “further strengthens international efforts to pressure and isolate the Iranian government for its continued refusal to comply with its international obligations and fully cooperate with the IAEA.”

Mr. Carney noted that because of the choices made by Iran’s leaders, Iran’s economy is suffering. “The Iranian government is responsible for the state of Iran’s economy and the isolation of the country,” he said. “Iran’s leaders have made conscious choices about how they manage their economy, how they prioritize their budget and how they respond to the concerns of their people. The regime has chosen to spend money to pursue nuclear activities in flagrant violation of its international obligations, to support [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime, to enable terrorist acts around the world, and to undertake destabilizing activities around the region.”

Mr. Carney said, “Iran knows the kind of concrete steps we are looking for to bring it back into full compliance with its international nuclear obligations, to address the proposal tabled by the P5+1, and to cooperate fully and transparently with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the international sanctions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program are designed to pressure the Iranian government to change direction. “The onus remains on the regime,” she said. “The door is open, the table is set, they have to. . .make better choices if they truly care about their people.”
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