Washington: The US has welcomed South Korea`s announcement to impose new sanctions on Iran, saying that it would pressurise Tehran to return to serious negotiations over its controversial nuclear programme.
"With this action, the Republic of Korea joins an emerging consensus of states that have taken steps to demonstrate to Iran the consequences of its failure to meet its international obligations," said a joint statement issued by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
"These actions strengthen the growing international resolve to prevent proliferation and Iran`s development of nuclear weapons and to press Iran to return to serious negotiations on its nuclear programme and meet its international obligations," the statement said.
Hillary and Geithner in particular welcomed South Korea`s decision to impose sanctions in a number of Iranian economic sectors that have been exploited for proliferation-related purposes by entities and individuals of concern - including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and several Iranian financial institutions linked to Iranian nuclear, missile, and other destabilising programs - and the establishment of a prior authorisation system for financial transactions with Iran.
"The Republic of Korea`s robust inspections framework, its prohibition on the export of strategic, controlled items, and its prohibition of new investments or sale of goods, services, and technology to Iran`s energy sector will also further limit Iran`s ability to conduct its illicit activities," they said.
"We recognise and appreciate that, given Iran`s significant trade with the Republic of Korea, this decision to robustly implement UN Security Council Resolution 1929 is not without cost and appreciate the steps the Republic of Korea is taking today (Wednesday) to protect its financial and commercial system is from the threat posed by Iran`s proliferation activities," the statement said.
Noting that the US has taken unprecedented steps to engage with Iran, Hillary and Geithner reaffirmed America`s strong commitment to seeking a diplomatic solution to the international community`s ongoing concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme.
Additional pressure on Iran`s leaders is essential to making clear the choice Iran faces and to achieving the goal of a diplomatic resolution, they said and hoped that other countries would join this growing international consensus and take the necessary steps to ensure comprehensive implementation of the UNSC resolution in this regard.