Thursday, October 11, 2012

Obama signs order implementing tougher sanctions on Iran

Source: Press TV

President Obama on Tuesday signed an executive order tightening sanctions on Iran over its nuclear-enrichment program. The order implements a new Iran sanctions law enacted in August.

The White House said the administration’s actions “have created unprecedented pressure on Iran’s economy.”

Iran policy has become a focus of the presidential election this year. During a speech Monday at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., GOP candidate Mitt Romney repeated accusations that Obama is too soft on Iran and too distant from Israel, which views Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to its existence.

Romney has called on Obama to draw a clearer red line for Iran. Critics of this view warn that it could bind the U.S. and force an armed intervention.

The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act expands the list of those targeted by Iran sanctions, closes loopholes and enhances penalties.

Those targeted include anyone who works in Iran's petroleum sectors or provides goods, services, infrastructure, or technology to Iran's oil and natural gas sector, those who insure or re-insure investments in Iran's oil sector and those who transport refined petroleum to Iran.

This law also tries to stop Iran from repatriating revenue from oil. The Hill


The United States has long barred U.S. firms from doing business with Iran, but last December adopted measures that forced international buyers of Iranian oil to cut their purchases. Economic Times

In August, a second package of sanctions added further restrictions for international banks, insurance companies and oil traders. Economic Times

The United States and Israel accuse Iran of having a secret nuclear weapons program and have threatened the country with military action.

Iran insists that its nuclear energy program pursues peaceful purposes only and has warned that it will harshly respond to any foreign attack. Iranian officials say they will reply to U.S. aggression by bombing all American bases throughout the Middle East.

A recent report by the Iran Project, a group of U.S. diplomats and military officials, concluded that U.S. strikes would provoke a war that would last years and cost the U.S. at the very least hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

Iran, as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says the nation is entitled to develop nuclear technology for civilian use.

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