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Iran isolated by sanctions, U.S. says

Iran isolated by sanctions, U.S. says
Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey discusses sanctions on Iran during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on June 16, 2010. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- International sanctions imposed on Iran are isolating the regime in Tehran, a top U.S. Treasury Department official said in Washington.

The U.N. Security Council in June slapped Iran with sanctions as punishment for a controversial nuclear program. The United States, the European Union, Japan and South Korea all followed suit with their own unilateral measures against Iran.

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Stuart Levey, the top Treasury Department official in charge of sanctions, told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, that economic pressure was having an impact on Iran.

"The financial measures the U.S. and others are implementing are imposing serious costs and constraints on Iran," he said in his prepared remarks. "We believe Iran's leadership was caught off guard by the speed, intensity and scope of the new measures, misjudging the strength of the international community's will."

Sanctions against Iran led in part to a decision by international companies, notably energy companies, to stop working in Iran.

Western allies say they believe Iran is working on the technology needed to make a nuclear bomb, something Tehran denies.

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