Obama places more sanctions on Iran []


 

President Obama ramped up economic sanctions against Iran today, targeting that nation’s oil sales and financial transactions.

Again pledging to block Iran from developing the means to make a nuclear weapon, Obama said in a statement: “With these actions, we are once again reaffirming our commitment to hold the Iranian government accountable for its actions.”

Obama said the United States remains committed to a diplomatic solution of the nuclear dispute, “but the onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations.”

The announcement comes less than a week after Republican election opponent Mitt Romney visited Israel, also pledging to prevent Iran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon.

The debate over Iran takes place amid concern that Israel might launch a pre-emptive military strike against Iran in an effort to knock out its nuclear facilities.

Romney aides pointed out that, during the GOP candidate’s recent visit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian (nuclear) program by one iota And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation.”

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams cited Netanyahu’s comments in saying that Obama “has allowed Iran’s nuclear ambitions to proceed unimpeded. … The president’s refusal to take a tough stance when it comes to Iran has imperiled our allies and jeopardized our national security.”

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