More pressure needed on Iran, U.S. says

Oct. 1, 2010 at 12:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Existing sanctions on Iran are isolating the regime in Tehran but not enough to thwart its nuclear ambitions, a U.S. congressman declared.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order this week that freezes assets of eight Iranian officials, including the country's intelligence minister and head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, for human rights abuses.

Japan, the United States and the European Union have passed unilateral sanctions on Iran that punish the country for its nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., the chairman of a subcommittee on terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation, introduced a bill that would put more pressure on Iran to persuade the Islamic republic to abandon its nuclear program.

"Existing Iran sanctions have had a significant impact on Iran's economy but have not achieved the ultimate goal of ending Iran's nuclear weapons program," he said.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Swiss envoy to Iran in response to the "illegal" move by Washington to sanction the eight officials, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

"The move amounts to disturb the international order because the U.S. is by no means authorized to do such a thing," the report said.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian use.

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