WASHINGTON, July 1 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law the Iran Sanctions Act, imposing stricter sanctions on Tehran in response to its nuclear program.
In a signing ceremony at the White House, the president said one of his administration's highest priorities is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and the United States and its allies have "strengthened the global non-proliferation regime, including the cornerstone of our efforts -- the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty." He said Iran is the only signatory to the treaty "that has been unable to convince the International Atomic Energy Agency that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes."
Obama said Iran has failed to honor its commitments and defied U.N. Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program.
"Consistent with the Security Council mandate, this legislation strengthens existing sanctions, authorizes new ones and supports our multilateral diplomatic strategy to address Iran's nuclear programs," he said. "It makes it harder for the Iranian government to purchase refined petroleum and the goods, services and materials to modernize Iran's oil and natural gas sector. It makes it harder for the Revolutionary Guards and banks that support Iran's nuclear programs and terrorism to engage in international finance. It says to companies seeking procurement contracts with the United States government -- if you want to do business with us, you first have to certify that you're not doing prohibited business with Iran."
Obama said if Iran persists "the pressure will continue to mount, and its isolation will continue to deepen."
"There should be no doubt -- the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," he said.