The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and has pursued a dual-track policy to do so. Yesterday, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that clearly reflects the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Iran must take concrete steps to address those concerns. Iran must cooperate fully and immediately with the IAEA on all outstanding issues. We welcome the resolve of the international community to make clear the onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations, honor its commitments to the IAEA, and prove that its intentions are peaceful.
The international community is also determined to make significant cuts to Iranian oil revenue, which funds not only the nuclear program but Iran’s support for terror and destabilizing actions in the region and around the world. I am pleased to announce that Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom have again qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, as amended (NDAA), based on reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran.
As of July 1, the European Union implemented a full ban on Iranian crude oil and petroleum products, strengthening the comprehensive measures it has taken to hold Iran accountable for its failure to comply with its international nuclear obligations. Japan has also taken significant steps to reduce its crude oil purchases, which is especially notable considering the extraordinary energy challenges it has faced in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. As a result, I will report to the Congress that the exception to sanctions pursuant to Section 1245 of the NDAA will apply to the financial institutions based in these countries for a renewable period of 180 days.
These renewed exceptions result from our extensive cooperation with the international community since the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, reducing Iran’s oil revenues and isolating its Central Bank from the international financial system. We have brought significant pressure to bear on the Iranian regime, and we will continue to work with our partners to ratchet up the pressure on Iran to meet its international obligations.