July 31, 2012 -- New York -- AJC praised President Barack Obama for imposing additional sanctions on Iran's energy and banking sectors.
Two Executive Orders signed today will further restrict access to Iran's energy and petrochemical sectors, as well as impose sanctions on China's Bank of Kowlun and Iraq's Elaf Islamic Bank.
"Today's action makes it clear that we will expose any financial institution, no matter where they are located, that allows the increasingly desperate Iranian regime to retain access to the international financial system," the White House said.
The new sanctions follow measures taken earlier this year against any institution that deals with Iran's Central Bank. They also are the latest round in increasingly punitive measures targeting companies worldwide that do business with Iran's oil and energy businesses.
"This is no time to relent," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "New U.S. sanctions are essential in the global effort to convince the Iranian regime of our resolve to end its quest for nuclear-weapons capability."
The Obama Administration's move follows the failed P5+1 talks with Iran in Moscow, which came after similarly fruitless negotiations in Baghdad and Istanbul. No date has been set for more high-level talks between Iran and the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany. At the same time, Tehran continues defiantly to proclaim progress in its nuclear program.
"The Iranian regime's rejection of UN appeals to stop its nuclear weapons program, and fully open its existing facilities to IAEA inspectors, leaves concerned governments no choice but to impose ever-tighter sanctions," said Harris.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress, with strong bipartisan support, is expected to approve this week another round of sanctions.
"The onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations," said Obama. "If the Iranian government continues its defiance, there should be no doubt that the United States and our partners will continue to hold Iran accountable."