News / Middle East

Moscow, Tehran Denounce New Western Sanctions on Iran

Iran and its powerful ally Russia have denounced new Western sanctions on Tehran's financial, petrochemical and energy sectors, calling them illegal and futile.

The U.S., Canada, and Britain each announced new steps Monday to increase economic pressure against Iran in response to international concerns that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday the unilateral measures by the the three countries amounted merely to "propaganda and psychological warfare." He predicted they would prove ineffective, saying Iran's trade and economic ties with the U.S. and Britain are small anyway.

Separately, Russia's foreign ministry called the sanctions "unacceptable and contradictory to international law." Moscow, together with Beijing, has blocked further punitive measures against Tehran from reaching the United Nations Security Council for approval. Four rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran have already been passed.

Washington said Monday it is imposing sanctions on goods and services used by Iran's oil and gas industry to discourage foreign companies from investing in the sector. The U.S. also announced a worldwide diplomatic campaign to encourage countries to buy petrochemicals from other suppliers.

Iranian petrochemical companies have become increasingly involved in refining gasoline as other Iranian energy firms face international sanctions.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the U.S. has also now designated Iran a territory of "primary money laundering concern." He said this will send a warning that any transaction with Iranian banks could be supporting Iran's illegal activities. U.S. companies and individuals already are barred from doing business with Iran.

Meanwhile, Britain said it will stop business transactions with all banks in Iran, including Iran's Central Bank, the first time Britain has cut ties with the entire banking sector of a country. And Canada announced it would block "virtually all transactions" with Iran, including those with its Central Bank. Canada said it will also ban the export to Iran of any goods used by Iran's petrochemical industry.

The U.S. also said it has expanded the number of Iranian companies and organizations facing sanctions for suspected involvement in the Iranian nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency released a report earlier this month citing intelligence about Iranian efforts to develop the technology needed to build nuclear weapons. Iran has said the report is based on fabrications and insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Since the release of the report, U.S. lawmakers have urged the Obama administration to impose tighter sanctions, including penalties against the Iranian central bank. U.S. officials say Obama is reluctant to take that step because it could block the oil-producing nation's access to international commerce and export markets, leading to a potential rise in oil prices that could hurt global economic growth.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - target="_blank">Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on target="_blank">Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid