News / USA

White House Welcomes Tightened EU Sanctions on Iran, Syria

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)

The White House on Thursday welcomed new steps by the European Union to tighten sanctions on Iran and Syria.

The latest steps by the EU expand the list of members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps banned from doing business with EU countries, or receiving visas to travel there.

They stop short of any decision to halt oil purchases from Iran to further increase pressure over Tehran's nuclear program or its policies in the region, despite expectations that this week's mob attack on Britain's embassy in Iran would prompt stronger steps.

The White House issued a statement welcoming the EU action, as well as new steps against 12 officials and 11 entities in Syria, where the United Nations says more than 4,000 people have died in government crackdowns on protesters.

"We welcome today’s announcement by the European Union of new economic sanctions and other measures against both Iran and Syria.     The United States recently increased our own sanctions on Iran, and today announced additional actions against Syrian officials and entities," said Press Secretary Jay Carney.

The wording of Thursday's statement was notable in that it reflects the Obama administration approach of more frequently coupling Iranian actions with the situation in Syria.  

It spoke of a commitment to work together on "shared challenges" and coordination to increrase pressure on Iran and Syria to "ensure that their flagrant violations of international norms comes to an end."

The U.S. has said President Bashar al-Assad has "lost legitimacy" and should end all government-sanctioned violence against demonstrators and help pave the way for a democratic transition for the Syrian people.

Carney was asked by one reporter if a key objective of Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Turkey was to ask for more help from the government in Ankara on Iran.

The president's spokesman had no immediate response on that, but repeated a largely unchanged U.S. statement about Washington's overall positive assessment of international cooperation aimed at pressuring Tehran.

"Broadly on Iran, we have been very focused on and pleased by the international consensus that has been developed over these several years to sanction Iran, to pressure and isolate Iran, and that continues today," Carney said.

During a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday, the Obama administration came under additional pressure from lawmakers who believe the U.S. needs to take stronger steps against Iran.

Treasury and State Department officials told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the administration is committed to putting "sustained pressure" on Iran, but multilateral measures need to be a priority now.  

David Cohen, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said a bipartisan amendment to ban U.S. companies from doing business with any foreign financial institution connected with Iran's central bank could harm international coordination aimed at stepping up pressure on Tehran.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More