Obama considering tougher Iran sanctions

Feb. 4, 2009 at 7:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Iran's launching of its first space satellite is prompting the Obama administration to seek tougher sanctions against Tehran, aides say.

While U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking to break with Bush administration policy by opening a direct dialogue with Iran, he may also seek to toughen sanctions, with actions such as this week's satellite launch adding to concerns, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

"This action does not convince us that Iran is acting responsibly to advance stability or security in the region," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday, adding that the Obama administration "will use all elements of our national power to deal with Iran and to help it be a responsible member of the international community."

U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns is set to meet in Germany with other nations seeking to control Iran's nuclear ambitions as some analysts are calling for a cutoff of all commercial relations with Tehran, the newspaper said.

Gary Samore, a former Clinton administration arms control negotiator who is expected to become the new White House nuclear nonproliferation czar, is among those who are urging a bigger stick to go with carrots offered to Iran, the Times said.

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