USA: Treasury official says sanctions are not a silver bullet in dealing with IranRecord ID: 313649
- Title: USA: Treasury official says sanctions are not a silver bullet in dealing with Iran
- Date: 7th October 2009
- Summary: ISFAHAN, IRAN (FILE - MARCH 30, 2005) (REUTERS) AERIAL VIEW OF ISFAHAN NUCLEAR FACILITY (ALSO KNOWN AS ISFAHAN URANIUM CONVERSION FACILITY) TILT DOWN PUMPS INSIDE PLANT THERMOMETER SUBMERGED IN LIQUID "DANGER: POISONOUS MATERIALS" SIGN ISFAHAN, IRAN (FILE - AUGUST 8, 2005) (REUTERS) BARREL OF URANIUM YELLOW CAKE ISFAHAN, IRAN (FILE - FEBRUARY 3, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS INTERIORS OF PLANT INCLUDING WORKERS WEARING WHITE SUITS AND FACE MASKS
- Reuters ID: LVA8DZZAN1TW3PK5K1QWX2CDV3BZ
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:47
- Topics: International Relations
- Story Text: Iran may face sweeping sanctions from the rest of the world if it fails to demonstrate that it is not seeking to build nuclear weapons, a senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Tuesday (October 6).
"The plan we are developing is comprehensive," Stuart Levey, Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in prepared testimony for delivery to the Senate banking committee.
"It takes into account that no single sanction is a 'silver bullet' -- we will need to impose measures simultaneously in many different forms in order to be effective," Levey said.
President Barack Obama has warned Iran to come clean about its nuclear program, which Washington fears is a cover to build atomic weapons, or face "sanctions that bite." Tehran says its program is designed only to produce electricity.
Iran last week agreed with six world powers -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -- to allow inspectors access to its newly disclosed uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom.
The disclosure of the plant -- it is the second such facility acknowledged by Iran -- has prompted Washington to take a closer look at possible sanctions in the standoff.
Levey said that by targeting "key vulnerabilities and fissures in Iran," allies could if necessary show the Iranian government that it would face "serious costs" for failing to cooperate with the international community.
The Treasury official was not specific and said he could not describe everything that was being planned at a public hearing, but he added that any measures would be taken with international cooperation.
Publicly, officials are reluctant to discuss the steps they are considering, wary of creating an impression that they view diplomacy as merely a smokescreen for eventual sanctions.
The White House is being urged to consider a wide range of options, including choking off gasoline supplies, although experts stress that is no "silver bullet" and must be part of a battery of measures.
U.S. officials are also looking at ways to discourage big financial firms from providing insurance for shipments to Iran.
"We are intensifying work with our allies and other partners to insure that we must strengthen sanctions we'll do so with as much international support as possible. I think that will be critical to our success," Levey said.
Speaking to the same committee, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg argued strongly for engagement with Iran but stated reiterated Levey's testimony that sanctions should be implemented by a broad based international coalition if they are to bring about the desired results with Iran.
"Not only are sanctions effective when they're broad based, but it also takes away the political argument that the Iranian government that they try to make, which is that this is American hostility," Steinberg told the Committee members.
"This is clearly an international rejection of their unwillingness to be straight forward and open about this program. Their unwillingness to prove that it is peaceful."
"The clock needs to stop ticking. We've made clear to the Iranians that's what we're looking for right now," he said.
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