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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid