Obama and Netanyahu applaud new EU sanctions on Iran

Iran defiant, warns against ‘military adventurism’

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Posted on: 
24 Jan 2012
Obama and Netanyahu applaud new EU sanctions on Iran

US President Barack Obama declared on Monday that the recently passed boycott of Iranian oil  and the imposition of a freeze on Iran’s central bank by the EU was exactly what was needed in ongoing efforts "addressing the serious threat presented by Iran's nuclear program." He added that the US “will continue to impose new sanctions to increase the pressure on Iran." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a similar statement calling the move a “step in the right direction” adding that These sanctions must be evaluated according to the results they will bring. Today, Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons with no disruption." Other Israeli officials echoed these statements, with a general agreement that the sanctions would finally force Teheran to make a choice between dismantling its renegade nuclear program or facing economic collapse. Although the new sanctions will not go into effect until 1 July, according to various reports, the economic impact is already being felt on the streets of Iranian cities, with a depressed currency and rising prices for food and consumer goods.

For their part, Iranian officials have chosen to ignore the pain of their citizens and dismiss efforts to force a change in their behavior, responding instead with new threats.

The “European Union sanctions on Iranian oil are psychological warfare... Imposing economic sanctions is illogical and unfair but will not stop our nation from obtaining its rights,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast declared on Monday. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi agreed, telling the official news agency IRNA that the more sanctions were imposed on Iran “the more obstacles there will be to solve the (nuclear) issue.”

“The best way is to stop exporting oil ourselves before the end of this six months and before the implementation of the plan,” agreed another Iranian parliamentarian, adding a reiteration of the threat that Iran could close the Strait of Hormuz.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters “I want the pressure of these sanctions to result in negotiations. I want to see Iran come back to the table and either pick up all the ideas that we left on the table... last year... or to come forward with its own ideas.”

"We will be discussing and finalizing additional sanctions [on Iran], particularly focused on the central bank and on oil exports," Ashton said. "But I do want to, again, reiterate that this is part of trying to get a twin-track approach. The pressure of sanctions is designed to try and make sure that Iran takes seriously our request to come to the table and meet."

Meanwhile, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano announced on Monday that the IAEA will send a mission to Iran from 29-31 January “in a constructive spirit, and we trust that Iran will work with us in that same spirit” to "resolve all outstanding substantive issues" regarding the possible military applications of Iran's program.


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