Hillary Clinton welcomes EU, Australia sanctions against Iran

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Australian and European sanctions against Iran, saying she hoped they would influence Iran to take a "more constructive course."

Updated: Jun 18, 2010, 09:49 AM IST

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Australian and European sanctions against Iran, saying she hoped they would influence Iran to take a
"more constructive course."

"These measures are part of the international community`s vigorous effort to build upon UN Security Council Resolution 1929 and address Iran`s noncompliance with its international obligations," Clinton said in a statement.

"They send a clear message to Iran`s leaders: uphold your international responsibilities or face growing international isolation and consequences."

Clinton reiterated that Washington and its allies "are committed to engaging Iran in pursuit of a diplomatic resolution to the international community`s concerns regarding
Iran`s nuclear program and other issues.

"We hope that Resolution 1929 and these additional measures will affect the strategic calculus of Iran`s leaders and influence them to take a more constructive course."

The new European Union sanctions, imposed yesterday, include a ban on new investment, technical assistance and technology transfers to Iran`s huge gas and oil industry, particularly as regards refining and liquefied natural gas.

The new EU measures also target the Islamic Republic`s transportation, banking and insurance sectors and slap new visa bans and asset freezes on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Australia`s sanctions apply to Bank Mellat, a major
financier of Iranian missile and nuclear programs, as well as
a major Iranian shipping line and a "key leader" of the
Revolutionary Guard, General Rostam Qasemi.

New US sanctions imposed Wednesday target insurance
companies, oil firms and shipping lines linked to Iran`s
atomic or missile programs as well as the IRGC and Iran`s
Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi.

The United States has long offered Iran trade and other
incentives in exchange for halting its uranium enrichment
program, which Western powers fear masks a drive to build a
nuclear bomb.

Iran claims its aims are peaceful.

PTI