Australia hits Iran with sanctions

Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The Australian government is imposing new sanctions on Iran to persuade Tehran to honor nuclear commitments, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Thursday.

Carr said Australia was targeting the energy, financial, trade and transportation sectors in Iran with new sanctions.

"These sanctions further increase pressure on Iran to comply with its nuclear non-proliferation obligations and with U.N. Security Council resolutions and to engage in serious negotiations on its nuclear program," he said in a statement.

Carr added that sanctions target the export of materials related to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and to industries controlled by the military.

Negotiations between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency are expected to resume Wednesday. Following meetings in December in Tehran, nuclear inspectors said bilateral meetings were constructive though access to sensitive military installations was prohibited.

Saeed Jalili, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said last week that Tehran's cooperation with the IAEA was "constant."

Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon, an allegation the government denies.

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