White House Spokesman Agrees with Netanyahu on Iran
A spokesman for the White House seemed to agree with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, when he admitted that Iran has not yet decided to abandon its nuclear program despite the sanctions being imposed on it.
“We agree with Netanyahu's assessment that Iran has not made a decision to abandon its nuclear program,” spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during a press briefing.
During a meeting earlier on Wednesday with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Netanyahu said, “Neither sanctions nor diplomacy have yet had any impact on Iran's nuclear weapons program. America and Israel have also made clear that all options are on the table. You yourself said a few months ago that when all else fails, America will act. But these declarations have also not yet convinced the Iranians to stop their program.”
Despite agreeing with Netanyahu, Carney pointed out that “the sanctions are having a significant impact on Iran's economy. They have implications on what they can buy, including technology for their nuclear facilities. We are detecting cracks in the Iranian leadership because of the stress they're in following the erroneous decisions they made.”
“If the Iranian regime continues to ignore its international obligations it will be held responsible,” warned Carney. “The window of opportunity for Iran to resolve the crisis by peaceful means will not be open forever. President Obama is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and all options remain on the table.”
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced new U.S. sanctions against foreign banks that help Iran sell its oil.
The new sanctions target foreign banks that handle transactions for Iranian oil or handle large transactions from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) or Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), two key players in Iran's oil trade.
Iran's currency has plunged since the United States and European Union first targeted its oil revenues this year, making it harder for Tehran to spend money on its nuclear program, and ramping up internal political pressures within the country.