Economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United Nations Security Council and the United States are a response to the Iranian government's refusal to suspend work on technologies that can lead to the development of nuclear weapons.
The latest U.S. sanctions are aimed at Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and Quds force, as well as state-owned Iranian banks that support nuclear proliferation and terrorist activities. U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey says the measures are aimed at the destructive policies of the Iranian regime, not the Iranian people:<!-- IMAGE -->
"We have taken steps to try and limit the ability of Iran to pursue both its nuclear weapons program as well as pursue support for terrorist organizations, and those are some of our primary policy concerns with respect to Iran. . . These steps are designed specifically to have an impact on those programs and have an impact on the regime's ability to carry them out."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the U.S. would join with Russia, China, and the European Union to negotiate with Iran on any issue, if Iran fulfilled its international obligation to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
Iranians are already dealing with soaring inflation, high unemployment, and gas rationing. In addition, several major European banks have ceased to do business with Iran, and foreign investment in Iran's oil and gas industry has plummeted. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey says the time has come for the Iranian government to do what is in the best interests of the Iranian people.