WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Monday said that it welcomed the European Union (EU)'s decision to slap new economic sanctions on Iran which are aimed at pressuring Tehran to abandon its controversial nuclear program.
"I wanted to say that the United States welcomes the adoption today by the European Union of significant new sanctions against the Iranian government in response to the Iranian government's continued violation of its international obligations regarding its nuclear program," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters while traveling with U.S. President Barack Obama.
The White House statement came after the EU on Monday reinforced its sanctions against Iran, including banning import of natural gas from Iran "over lack of progress in nuclear talks." EU, however, also stressed a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue while urging the country to "comply with all its international obligations."
Carney said that the move by the EU "further strengthens international efforts to pressure and isolate the Iranian government for its continued refusal to comply with its international obligations and fully cooperate with the IAEA."
"Rallying the world to isolate Iran and increasing the pressure on its leadership so that they stop pursuing a nuclear weapon has been a top priority for the president," he noted.
The West has been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under civilian disguise, a charge that has always been denied by Tehran. Washington has been relying on the two-track approach, namely diplomacy and pressure, in dealing with Iran. It vows not to allow Tehran to have a nuclear weapon, while it also insists that there is still time and space to resolve the stalemate peacefully.