Washington is planning to impose fresh sanctions against Iran's petrochemical industry, in wake of the recent IAEA report
on Tehran's atom endeavors and its adamant refusal to suspend its nuclear efforts,
CNN reported Saturday.
Current US sanctions prohibit American companies from doing business with Iran
and according to the news network's sources, the new measures aim to bar foreign companies from doing business with the Islamic Republic's petrochemical industry "by threatening them with being banned from US markets."
European nations are expected to announce similar measures next week, but not all of the euro-zone members are in agreement: While Switzerland and France,
for example, support tightening the financial vise on Iran, Russia
is adamantly against it, and has warned further sanctions
would be "a serious mistake."
Iranian President Ahmadinejad (Photo: Reuters)
US President Barack Obama
defended his efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions recently, saying the economic sanctions proposed against Tehran have an "enormous bite." The latest round of proposed measures will build on existing sanctions on Iran's oil and gas industry.
The US' plans for additional sanctions come on the heels of the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which suggested that Iran was making serious progress towards developing and constructing a nuclear weapon.
On Friday, the IAEA's board issued a resolution expressing "deep and increasing concern about the unresolved issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program."
Nevertheless, the resolution failed to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Iran insists its nuclear program is meant to meet civilian purposes and it has criticized the UN watchdog's report for its "unbalanced" and "politically motivated" findings.