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Secretary Clinton: November 2011 » Measures to Increase Pressure on Iran

Measures to Increase Pressure on Iran

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
November 21, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon, everyone. I am delighted to welcome Secretary Geithner here to the Treaty Room of the State Department, and I also welcome his team and thank my team for the work that they have been doing with respect to Iran.

Recent days have brought new evidence that Iran’s leaders continue to defy their international obligations and violate international norms, including the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador here in the United States and as verified by the new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that further documents Iran’s conduct of activities directly related to the development of nuclear weapons. Now, this report from the IAEA is not the United States or our European partners making accusations; this is the result of an independent review and it reflects the judgment of the international community.

There have to be consequences for such behavior. So on Friday, Iran was condemned in votes at the UN in New York and at the IAEA in Vienna. And earlier today, the UN General Assembly again strongly reprimanded Iran for continuing human rights abuses, persecution of minorities, and forcible restrictions on political freedom. The message is clear: If Iran’s intransigence continues, it will face increasing pressure and isolation.

Today the United States is taking a series of steps to sharpen this choice.

First, President Obama signed an Executive Order that, for the first time, specifically targets Iran’s petrochemical industry, a significant source of export revenues and a cover for imports for sanctioned activities. This will allow us to sanction the provision of goods, services, and technology to the petrochemical sector. To accompany this new measure, we will launch a worldwide diplomatic campaign to encourage other countries to shift any purchases of Iranian petrochemical products to other suppliers.

Second, in the same Executive Order, we are expanding sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas business. U.S. law already sanctions large-scale investments in up-stream exploration and development of oil and gas, and now it will also be sanctionable to provide goods, services, and technology for those activities as well. This will make it more difficult for Iran to work around the sanctions and will further impede efforts to maintain and modernize its oil and gas sector.

Third, under an existing Executive Order, we are designating a number of individuals and entities

for their roles in assisting Iran’s prohibited nuclear programs, including its enrichment and heavy water programs. Their assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen and American individuals and entities will be prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

And finally, as Secretary Geithner will discuss in more detail, the Treasury Department is formally identifying Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern. This is the strongest official warning we can give that any transaction with Iran poses serious risks of deception or diversion.

These steps were accompanied today by complementary measures by the UK and Canada, and we expect additional sanctions by other international partners in the days ahead.

Together, these measures represent a significant ratcheting up of pressure on Iran, its sources of income, and its illegal activities. They build on an extensive existing sanctions regime put into place by the UN Security Council and a large number of countries, including our own, acting nationally and multilaterally to implement the Council’s measures. And these sanctions are already having a dramatic effect. They have almost completely isolated Iran from the international financial sector and have made it very risky and costly a place to do business.

Most of the world’s major energy companies have left, undermining Iran’s efforts to boost its declining oil production, its main source of revenues. Iran has found it much more difficult to operate its national airline and shipping companies, and to procure equipment and technology for its prohibited weapons programs. And those individuals and organizations responsible for terrorism and human rights abuses, including the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Qods Force, have been specifically targeted.

The impact will only grow unless Iran’s leaders decide to change course and meet their international obligations. And let me be clear: Today’s actions do not exhaust our opportunities to sanction Iran. We continue actively to consider a range of increasingly aggressive measures. We have worked closely with Congress and have put to effective use the legislative tools they have provided. We are committed to continuing our collaboration to develop additional sanctions that will have the effect we all want: putting strong pressure on Iran.

Now, the Administration’s dual-track strategy is not only about pressure. It is also about engaging Iran, engagement that would be aimed at resolving the international community’s serious and growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. And the United States is committed to engagement, but only – and I say only – if Iran is prepared to engage seriously and concretely without preconditions. So far, we have seen little indication that Iran is serious about negotiations on its nuclear program. And until we do, and until Iran’s leaders live up to their international obligations, they will face increasing consequences.

Now I would like to invite Secretary Geithner to explain in more depth how some of these sanctions will be working.

Tim.

SECRETARY GEITHNER: Thank you, Secretary Clinton, and my compliments also to your colleagues and to ours – to mine, led by David Cohen and Danny Glaser, for doing such a great job today on these very significant financial actions.

Since the President came into office, this Administration has executed a very aggressive strategy to stop Iran’s illicit activities. A key part of this strategy has been to impose overwhelming financial pressure on Iran, and because of this strategy, Iran has been subjected to new and damaging levels of financial and commercial isolation.

First, we have dramatically reduced Iran’s access to the international financial system. Iranian banks are losing the ability to do business around the world, which in turn has reduced the ability of the government to finance activities opposed by the international community.

Second, Iran’s national shipping line, which has transported material in support of Iran’s missile program, is now shut off from many of the world’s major ports and routinely finds its ships seized or turned away.

And third, Iran’s primary source of revenue, its oil sector, is in decline because it cannot attract the foreign investment that it desperately needs to maintain levels of production.

Together, the intensification of sanctions by this Administration, alongside our partners around the world, has inflicted substantial damage to the Iranian economy. To continue these efforts, the Treasury Department today is designating additional entities for their support of Iran’s nuclear and proliferation-related activities.

Today, we are taking the very significant step of acting under Section 311 of the Patriot Act. For the first time, we are identifying the entire Iranian banking sector, including the Central Bank of Iran, as a threat to governments or financial institutions that do business with Iranian banks. If you are a financial institutions anywhere in the world and you engage in any transaction involving Iran’s central bank or any other Iranian bank operating inside or outside Iran, then you are at risk of supporting Iran’s illicit activities: its support – its pursuit of nuclear weapons, its support for terrorism, and its efforts to deceive responsible financial institutions and to evade sanctions. Any and every financial transaction with Iran poses grave risk of supporting those activities, so financial institutions around the world should think hard about the risks of doing business with Iran.

We are taking this action, as the Secretary said, alongside our partners in the United Kingdom and Canada, who announced earlier today that they were implementing similar measures to insulate their banks from Iran. And as a result of this coordinated effort, Iran is now cut off from three of the world’s largest financial sectors. We encourage other leaders around the world to take forceful steps like these actions to prevent Iran from simply shifting financial activity to banks within their nations.

As we put these new measures in place and as we continue to work to expand their reach around the world, we will continue to explore other measures. No option is off the table, including the possibility of imposing additional sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran. The policies Iran is pursuing are unacceptable, and until Iran’s leadership agrees to abandon this dangerous course, we will continue to use tough and innovative means to impose severe economic and financial consequences on Iran’s leadership.

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Nusa Dua on July 22, 2011. Clinton was to start two days of talks with her Asian counterparts focusing on security issues, amid rising tension in the South China Sea. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ADEK BERRY (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Rodham Clinton is perhaps the fiercest defender of the U.S.A. and its interests that I have seen, live, in my time on earth.   I have often stated here that I thank God daily for allowing me to be her contemporary.

In this vitriolic, uncertain climate we have come to accept lately as our quotidian environment, many of us have lost faith that our great country and the Party of Roosevelt can endure in its historic, traditional position of greatness in the world.  Hillary Clinton has been working very hard these past weeks to assure our friends and allies, partners that she has worked tirelessly to cultivate over two-and-a-half years as Secretary of State, that this is and will remain a great and solvent country. (See posts here of her past two weeks of travel from Europe through Asia.)  Those years have yielded hundreds of  trade agreements, entrepreneurial efforts and treaties,  business summits,  and MOUs all crafted under the seal of our current Secretary of State.

But do the American people share her faith?  Current polls say “no,” and last night’s “pep talk” by President Obama is unlikely to alter that.  He who made his career on oratory cannot sustain it without putting his words into action.  Erosion of the public trust cannot be allayed by levees built of words.  The people need to see concrete seawalls constructed against this AA rating tide and its predicted consequences.  Perhaps the most serious deficit this country suffers is not economic, but rather a deficit of bold, sure leadership.

An incisive post by my friend Tanya Domi illustrates the situation brilliantly.  Thank you, Tanya, for the outstanding analysis!

The Beginning Of The End Of The Obama Presidency

by TANYA DOMI on JULY 26, 2011

in ANALYSIS,ECONOMICS,NEWS,OPINION,POLITICS,TANYA DOMI
Before or on August 2, President Barack Obama, a Democratic Party nominated president, will in fact, sign into law a bill that cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as we know it.

Obama will sign a Republican measure to cut the first and second rail of Democratic Party politics, established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who launched America’s social and political compact following the dark days of the Great Depression during the 1930s.
READ THIS IMPORTANT POST>>>>

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Joint Statement on Iran Sanctions

 

 

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 23, 2011

 


 

The following is the text of a joint statement by U.S. Department of State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Iran sanctions.

Begin text:

Today, the United States imposed sanctions on Tidewater Middle East Company, an operator of Iranian ports owned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that has links to Iranian proliferation activities. We also imposed sanctions against Iran Air, which was designated for providing material support and services to the IRGC and Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), and also has facilitated proliferation-related activities. Today’s sanctions also exposed an Iranian individual and entity for their ties to a company that provided support and weapons to Hizballah on behalf of the IRGC.

The IRGC’s illicit activities and its increasing displacement of the legitimate Iranian private sector in major strategic industries, including in the commercial and energy sectors, are deeply troubling. The IRGC also serves as the domestic “enforcer” for the Iranian regime, continues to play an important proliferation role by orchestrating the import and export of prohibited items to and from Iran, is involved in support of terrorism throughout the region, and is responsible for serious human rights abuses against peaceful Iranian protestors and other opposition participants.

Preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a top U.S. Government priority and we remain deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear intentions. The United States is committed to a dual-track policy of applying pressure in pursuit of constructive engagement, and a negotiated solution.

On June 9, 2011, the P5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States) reaffirmed their concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and their commitment to a diplomatic solution in their statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors. Many other governments have also expressed serious concerns about the behavior and policies of the Iranian leadership and have urged Iran to change course and seek a path of negotiation. Yet, in the face of this unified international message, Iran has continued to violate its international obligations and disregard our attempts to start meaningful negotiations over its nuclear program.

For this reason, the United States is convinced that the international community must continue to increase and broaden the scope of pressures on Iran. We welcome steps such as the European Union’s designation of more than 100 entities and individuals last month and the improved implementation of sanctions against Iran that we are seeing around the world.

This month, the United States amplified our sanctions against Iran’s leadership through a comprehensive initiative aimed at Iran’s dangerous behavior–its continued proliferation activities, its human rights abuses, and its destabilizing activities in the region.

On June 9, we sanctioned the Iranian security forces for human rights abuses. Earlier this week, we continued our efforts against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which the UN Security Council 1737 Sanctions Committee noted has been involved in several violations of UN Security Council resolutions on Iran.

The steps we have taken this week seek to limit Iran’s ability to use the global financial system to pursue illicit activities. We have made important progress in isolating Iran, but we cannot waver. Our efforts must be unrelenting to sharpen the choice for Iran’s leaders to abandon their dangerous course.

The United States and our partners remain fully committed to a diplomatic solution with Iran. However, until Iran is prepared to engage seriously with us on such a solution, we will continue to increase pressure against Iranian entities of concern.

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Media Note

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 25, 2011

Below is the text of a letter from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner to their G8 Minister counterparts:

Begin text:

Dear G8 Colleagues,

As President Obama said on May 19, the courage of the people of the Middle East and North Africa has created a historic opportunity. This is a time for the region and the world to work together to support successful transitions toward democratic societies and more inclusive economies.

As our nations gather at Deauville, we should consider several steps to support these goals. We share a compelling interest in seeing the transitions in Egypt and Tunisia succeed and become models for the region. Otherwise, we risk losing this moment of opportunity.

Experience from other democratic transitions has taught us that we should focus on trade, not just aid, and on investment, not just assistance. Moreover, our efforts should be aligned with the needs and aspirations of the people of the region. In Egypt and Tunisia, citizens have outlined several key priorities: improving financial stability, strengthening the private sector, curbing corruption, creating jobs, and further integrating their markets with the region and the global economy.

With these priorities in mind, we should first offer our strong support for the Joint Action Plan of the Multilateral Development Banks. The World Bank and the African Development Bank will bring their resources to bear by supporting home-grown policies and reform agendas. We call on governments around the world—including in the Middle East and the Gulf—to join us in forming a broad and long-term partnership to support Egypt and Tunisia. It will be important to ensure that public dollars help leverage private dollars and grow private enterprise, and that the reforms are driven by the people and leaders of the region themselves.

Second, we should help Egypt convert the debts of the past into investments for the future. The United States is committed to a debt swap for Egypt and we are asking our partners to join us in this initiative. A debt swap will enable Egypt to channel its debt payments toward underwriting swift, sustainable job creation. A shared response in the form of a multi-creditor debt swap for job creation would provide Egypt with financial relief while also ensuring that critical investments are made to improve the lives of Egyptian people. We also should stand ready in the Paris Club to reinforce the forthcoming IMF package for Egypt. At the same time, we should collectively commit to helping newly democratic governments recover assets that were stolen.

Third, the G-8 should lead efforts to reorient the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) so that it can play the same role today in supporting democratic transitions in the Middle East and North Africa that it has played over the past two decades in Central and Eastern Europe. Our countries should use the Deauville Summit to support a mechanism that enables the EBRD to engage in the near-term to support private sector development in the region, as well as reforms that create conditions for successful entrepreneurship.

These immediate steps will provide important support to the democratic transitions already underway. But to be most effective, they must be part of a larger vision that connects the region to the global economy.

Non-oil exports within the Middle East and North Africa currently account for less than 10 percent of the region’s total trade— lower than that of any other region in the world. This lack of regional integration has contributed to chronic unemployment and hindered diversification.

To begin reversing this trend, President Obama announced a comprehensive Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative in the Middle East and North Africa. We ask members of the G-8 and the EU to join the United States and other willing partners across the region to facilitate more trade within the region, as well as between the region and global markets. This plan will increase market access and create new economic opportunities in new sectors, driven by new technologies. Just as membership in the European Union served as a powerful incentive for economic transformation in Central and Eastern Europe after the Cold War, so should the prospect of participating in an integrated and dynamic regional economy create a powerful force for reform in the Middle East and North Africa.

As President Obama said, the greatest untapped resource in the Middle East and North Africa is the talent of its people. Ultimately, they are the ones who will determine the future of their region. The nations of the G-8 share an interest and a responsibility in supporting these people and their countries as they move toward genuine democracy and more vibrant and open economies. The proposals we have outlined are important steps toward that future and we should waste no time in seizing this moment of opportunity. We look forward to working with you in translating these proposals into results.

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There were not a lot of pictures from today, but some of these certainly deserve to be shared and will likely draw some commentary. Enjoy!

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Public schedule for May 10, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
May 10, 2011

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:
Secretary Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner co-host the third annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) with their counterparts, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, in Washington, DC. Click
here for more information.

9:25 a.m.  Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the signing ceremony for six new U.S.-China EcoPartnerships, at the Department of State.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

9:45 a.m.  Secretary Clinton leads the S&ED Strategic Track Small Group Session II with State Councilor Dai, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

11:50 a.m.  Secretary Clinton participates in the Inaugural Meeting of the Advisory Committee for the 100,000 Strong Initiative, in the Loy Henderson Auditorium at the Department of State.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

12:15 p.m.  Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner co-host a luncheon with Vice Premier Wang, State Councilor Dai and U.S. and Chinese business leaders, at Blair House.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

2:15 p.m.  Secretary Clinton, Secretary Geithner, Vice Premier Wang and State Councilor Dai deliver joint closing remarks for the S&ED, in the Department of the Interior’s Sidney R. Yates Auditorium.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE FOR S&ED CREDENTIALED MEDIA)
WATCH LIVE ON
WWW.STATE.GOV.

2:50 p.m.  Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner hold a joint press availability, in the Department of the Interior’s Sidney R. Yates Auditorium.
WATCH LIVE ON WWW.STATE.GOV.

5:15 p.m.  Secretary Clinton meets with Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, at the White House.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)

6:35 p.m.  Secretary Clinton attends a dinner co-hosted by Ambassador Verveer and Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola in honor of the Chinese delegation to Women-LEAD, an initiative sponsored by Yale University under the auspices of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

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Mme. Secretary worked from early in the morning and late into the evening co-hosting the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue with Secretary Geithner. Here are some pics of her amazing day.

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