Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that the Obama administration is executing aggressive measure to stop Iran’s illicit activities.
“Recent days have brought new evidence that Iran’s leaders continue to defy their international obligations and violate international norms, including the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador here in the United States and as verified by the new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that further documents Iran’s conduct of activities directly related to the development of nuclear weapons.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed that the report from the IAEA is not the United States or our European partners making accusations. She said it is the result of an independent review and it reflects the judgment of the international community.
“There have to be consequences for such behavior. So on Friday, Iran was condemned in votes at the UN in New York and at the IAEA in Vienna.” -Ms. Clinton
She highlighted that the UN General Assembly again strongly reprimanded Iran for continuing human rights abuses, persecution of minorities, and forcible restrictions on political freedom.
“The message is clear: If Iran’s intransigence continues, it will face increasing pressure and isolation. Today the United States is taking a series of steps to sharpen this choice.” -Ms. Clinton
She cited that President Obama signed an Executive Order that, for the first time, specifically targets Iran’s petrochemical industry, a significant source of export revenues and a cover for imports for sanctioned activities. She said it will allow them to sanction the provision of goods, services, and technology to the petrochemical sector.
“To accompany this new measure, we will launch a worldwide diplomatic campaign to encourage other countries to shift any purchases of Iranian petrochemical products to other suppliers.” -Ms. Clinton
She also noted that in the same Executive Order, the U.S. government is expanding sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas business. She cited that U.S. law already sanctions large-scale investments in up-stream exploration and development of oil and gas, and now it will also be sanctionable to provide goods, services, and technology for those activities as well.
“This will make it more difficult for Iran to work around the sanctions and will further impede efforts to maintain and modernize its oil and gas sector.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that the U.S. government is designating a number of individuals and entities for their roles in assisting Iran’s prohibited nuclear programs, including its enrichment and heavy water programs. She said their assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen and American individuals and entities will be prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
“These steps were accompanied today by complementary measures by the UK and Canada, and we expect additional sanctions by other international partners in the days ahead.” -Ms. Clinton
She emphasized that the measures represent a significant ratcheting up of pressure on Iran, its sources of income, and its illegal activities. She said Iran builds on an extensive existing sanctions regime put into place by the UN Security Council and a large number of countries, acting nationally and multilaterally to implement the Council’s measures.
“Most of the world’s major energy companies have left, undermining Iran’s efforts to boost its declining oil production, its main source of revenues. Iran has found it much more difficult to operate its national airline and shipping companies, and to procure equipment and technology for its prohibited weapons programs.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed that the Administration’s dual-track strategy is not only about pressure. She said it is also about engaging Iran. She said it is an engagement that would be aimed at resolving the international community’s serious and growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.