Stop Fundamentalism – The Obama administration unveiled a new list of Iranian financial sanctions designed to force Iran to back off from its aggressive nuclear ambitions and activities, Monday.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a joint press conference with Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, announced the new initiative to further press Iran after the release of a report by United Nations’ Nuclear agency.
“President Obama signed an executive order that, for the first time, specifically targets Iran’s Petro-chemical industry,” Clinton told reporters at the press conference.
Britain and Canada announced similar financial sanctions Monday as a response to the long-awaited report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is making progress in its nuclear weapons program.
“If you are a financial institution, anywhere in the world, and you engage in any transaction involving Iran’s central bank or any other Iranian bank operating inside or outside Iran,” said US Treasure Secretary , Timothy Geithner to reporters, “then you are at risk of supporting Iran’s elicit activities.”
But the initiative is still short of a total sanction of Iran’s Central Bank which has been said to be the most appropriate measure to take considering the weight of revelations by IAEA, say media observers.
“The United States is committed to engagement but only, and I say only, if Iran is prepared to engage seriously and concretely without preconditions,” said Clinton to reporters at press conference. Adding, “So far we have seen little indications that Iran is serious about negotiations on its nuclear program. “
Reuters reported Tuesday that Italy has also announced its support for the new sanctions. That is while Russia has expressed its opposition by calling it “unacceptable” and “against international law.”
Iran says the new sanctions are futile. “In the eyes of our nationsWestern sanctions are condemned and fruitless,” said Iranian government spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast.