U.S. State Department Increases Sancations On Iran, Blacklists More People And Front Companies
The U.S. has increased the pressure on Iran by blacklisting more people and front companies it believes are being used to buy items Iran needs to continue forward with its nuclear program.
Iran for its part, has said that it is not feeling the sanctions, and that no amount of sanctions imposed by the west will deter Iran from moving forward with its nuclear ambitions.
The west, including Europe, the United States and Israel say Iran is attempting to develop a nuclear weapons program while Iran claims it is only developing peaceful nuclear energy.
The two sides have been locked into meaningless negotiations for several years. Europe has banned all oil sales from Iran as of July 1.
Security experts say it is only a matter of time until Israel takes preemptive action and strikes at Iran's nuclear establishment with its military. The Obama administration has pressured Israel to hold back in favor of a diplomatic solution.
Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, was quoted recently as saying "even best friends don't always agree" and that what is in the U.S.'s interests is not always what is in Israel's interests.
Iran has said multiple times that it wants to "wipe Israel off the map".
The comments allude to the fact that if Iran were attacked by Israel, the U.S. would be drawn into a war with the Islamic Republic.
Iran recently said it has the capability of striking as many as 35 U.S. bases and assets in the region and that it would if it were attacked.
A tense standoff between Washington and Tehran has been complicated by defense posturing on both sides, with Iran making threats of closing the Straits of Hormuz, where 1/5 of the world's oil passes through, and demanding that the U.S. not return its nuclear powered aircraft carrier back to the Persian Gulf or it would be attacked.
The U.S. did return its aircraft carrier back into the Persian Gulf one week later after it completed exercises in the Indian Ocean, and while Iran sent small gun boats within a few miles of the ship, no attack happened.