Obama reiterates ‘ironclad commitment to Israel’s security’

Iranian officials respond with dismissals and more threats

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Posted on: 
25 Jan 2012
Obama reiterates ‘ironclad commitment to Israel’s security’

US President Barak Obama addressed Iran’s renegade nuclear program during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, reiterating that the US is determined to prevent Iran from deploying atomic weapons and will take "no options off the table" to prevent it from achieving that objective. The President added "our ironclad commitment to Israel's security has meant the closest cooperation between our countries in history." Obama stated. Elsewhere, EU officials disclosed on Tuesday that the EU’s recently announced boycott of Iranian oil exports extends to crude purchased by European companies for sale to non-EU destinations, closing a potential loophole in the sanctions. "EU sanctions rules apply to EU citizens and companies registered in the EU, wherever they do business," Ross Denton, partner at law firm Baker & McKenzie, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced on Tuesday that Canberra would follow the US and EU lead in banning Iranian oil imports. "The actions taken in Brussels yesterday on sanctions by the European Union, we in Australia will undertake precisely the same parallel action for Australia," Rudd said, following talks in London with UK Foreign Minister William Hague. "The reason is very clear -- the message needs to be delivered to the people of Iran, the wider political elites of Iran, as well as the government of Iran, that their behavior is globally unacceptable."

Several Iranian officials gave speeches on Tuesday dismissing the sanctions as insignificant and declaring their belief that they would, in any case, soon be rescinded.

“The West's ineffective sanctions against the Islamic state are not a threat to us. They are opportunities and have already brought lots of benefits to the country," Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi told the official IRNA news agency. "The global economic situation is not one in which a country can be destroyed by imposing sanctions."

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammad Ben Nawaf, told reporters in London on Tuesday that the region was witnessing "a very difficult and a very tense situation" adding that “we are seeing every day an escalation in the rhetoric and this definitely does not help in stabilizing the area. I think the next couple of weeks will be very critical for the whole region. Hopefully, Iran will adhere to the proposals presented to them."

Addressing Iran's threats to block the Strait of Hormuz he said, "it will be very difficult to maintain such a blockade against the export of oil but the ramifications of such a decision would be very grave and definitely would escalate the whole situation and God knows where it would lead. Definitely the Iranians will pay a very heavy price if they gamble and take such a decision."


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