US imposes new, harsh sanctions against Iran


30 October, 2007

The United States has announced new, tough sanctions against Iranís military and banks.

The West has been alleging that the Islamic republic has been bankrolling terrorism and seeking to build an atomic bomb.

The latest sanctions by the United States on Iranís armed forces and its largest bank are the most sweeping since 1979, when the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, Iranís capital, had led to breaking of diplomatic, business, and military relations between the two countries.

The new sanctions, according to news agency Associated Press, happen to be the first of their type imposed by the United States specifically against the armed forces of another government. And, these sanctions are a part of the Bush administrationís two-pronged approach to Iran, its main adversary in the Middle East Ė that of ďaggressive rhetoric and the implicit threat of military action.Ē

In Washington, US officials insisted that the new sanctions against Iran would not lead to imminent war and that the United States remains committed to finding a way to talk Iran out of its nuclear program.

The US sanctions directly target Iranian organizations and people who the United States accuses of supporting terrorism or spreading weapons of mass destruction. The effect of the punitive measures will be felt on European and other overseas banks and firms that do business with oil-rich Iran.

In fact, there has been complaints, mainly in Europe, about the earlier financial sanctions imposed by the US on Iran.

Announcing the sanctions, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Washington, ďUnfortunately, the Iranian government continues to spurn our offer of open negotiations, instead threatening peace and security, through its nuclear program and export of ballistic missiles.Ē

The latest US sanctions will result in cutting off over 20 Iranian entities, including individuals and companies owned or controlled by the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps, from the American financial system.

Iranís state-owned Bank Melli, Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat have been named supporters of global terrorist groups for their activities in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East.

Any assets found in the United States belonging to the designated groups will be frozen. Americans are also prohibited from doing business with those designated organizations.

The United States says that, Bank Melli, Iranís largest bank, provides services to Iranís nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Bank Mellat serves Iranís Atomic Energy Organization and Bank Saderat routes money to terrorist or militant groups, according to the Bush administration.

However, the US administration has not produced any new evidence for the allegations.





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