U.S. to Impose ’Significant Regime of Sanctions’ Against Iran, Obama Says

U.S. to Impose ’Significant Regime of Sanctions’ Against Iran, Obama Says
# 09 February 2010 22:16 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. President Obama said Tuesday that he’s "bent over backwards" to engage Iran in "constructive" dialogue and said the U.S. will move to sanction the country, which has begun enriching uranium to levels capable of making an atomic bomb, APA reports citing Foxnews.com website.

Obama told reporters during a rare press conference Tuesday that the U.S. is developing a "significant regime of sanctions" in response to the Islamic Republic’s move to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity level in defiance of world powers.

"That indicates to us that despite their posturing that their nuclear power is only for, for civilian use that they in fact continue to pursue a course that would lead to weaponization," Obama said. "That is not acceptable to the international community.
Obama said the process toward adding new sanctions is moving along quickly, but he gave no specific timeline.

Iran began enriching uranium to a higher level on Tuesday, raising fears that the process could eventually be used to give the Islamic republic nuclear weapons.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Obama White House has gone further than any administration to reach out to Iran, and called the move "disappointing." He said Tehran is violating a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is refusing to sign off on an IAEA-brokered deal that would allow Tehran to be supplied with nuclear fuel for its medical reactor in exchange for its low-enriched uranium (LEU).

"I have never seen an administration reach out in as principled and comprehensive a way as President Obama has done," Gates said in a press conference Tuesday in Ankara, Turkey. "The response has been quite disappointing."

The Pentagon said the U.S. wants a U.N. Security Council resolution "within weeks" to halt the program, which it claims is intended to make a nuclear bomb.