Washington: The White House on Sunday commended the European Union`s latest moves to prohibit all Iranian oil imports as part of sanctions on the country, saying it would Tehran a "clear choice between isolation or meeting its obligations".
The EU has said that all contracts for importing Iranian oil will be terminated from today, and European companies will no longer be involved in insuring Iranian oil.
"This collective decision of the 27 countries of the European Union represents a substantial additional commitment on the part of our European allies and partners to seek a peaceful resolution that addresses the international community`s concerns about Iran`s nuclear programme," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement as the EU sanctions against Iran came into force.
Noting that the US and the European Union are committed to holding Iran accountable for failing to meet its international obligations, Carney said with this decision, America`s partners in the EU have underscored the seriousness with which the international community views the challenge of Iran`s nuclear ambitions.
"This action is an essential part of our concerted diplomatic efforts to present Iran with a clear choice between isolation or meetings its obligations," he said.
"Iran has an opportunity to pursue substantive negotiations, beginning with expert level talks this week in Istanbul, and must take concrete steps toward a comprehensive resolution of the international community`s concerns with Iran`s nuclear activities," Carney said in his statement.
The fresh measures come on top of previous sanctions levied by the US and the West that have already hit Iran`s economy.