US, Europe agree to step up pressure on Iran

The United States and European Union have agreed to step up pressure on Iran with the objective to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Updated: Nov 29, 2011, 14:59 PM IST

Washington: The United States and European
Union have agreed to step up pressure on Iran with the objective to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"We agreed to make sure that we continue to place
pressure on the Iranian regime to stand down when it comes to
the development of nuclear weapons, emphasizing that we
continue to hope for a diplomatic resolution that allows them
to use peaceful nuclear energy in a way that?s consistent with
their international obligations," President Barack Obama said.

Obama made the comments at a joint media availability with the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

"On Iran, we need to step up pressure. The Union is
preparing new restrictive measures," Rompuy said after Obama
hosted US-EU Summit at the White House.

A joint US-EU statement issued after the summit said that
they share deep concern about activities relating to the
possible military dimensions of Iran`s nuclear programme, as
highlighted in the latest International Atomic Energy Agency
Director General`s report.

"We stress our determination to ensure that Iran complies
with its obligations, including abiding by United Nations
Security Council resolutions, and to co-operate fully with the
IAEA to address the international community’s serious concerns
over the nature of its nuclear program," the statement said.

"We reaffirm our commitment to work toward a diplomatic
solution, implement UN Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010)
and other relevant Security Council Resolutions, and consider
additional measures given Iran`s continued failure to abide by
its international obligations," it said.

"We also note the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi
Ambassador to the United States, the sanctions we have imposed
thereafter on five individuals including the head of the Qods
Force, and our determination to ensure the perpetrators and
their accomplices are held to account," the statement said.

At a news conference, White House Press Secretary Jay
Carney said Iran is increasingly becoming isolated.

The recent vote at the International Atomic Energy
Agency, he said, demonstrates the approach that the Obama
Administration has taken here that has unified the world in
isolating and pressuring Iran because of its behavior.

"The fact that that pressure is having an impact has I
think been validated by a lot of outside sources and validated
in fact by the President of Iran. So that pressure continues.
We will ratchet it up in a variety of ways," he said.

PTI