Barack Obama has signed what are the United States’ toughest ever sanctions against Iran.
Iran has so far ignored the US president’s offer of a negotiated end to its nuclear program, an offer made when Obama took office 18 months ago.
The new sanctions were approved overwhelmingly by both US Democrats and Republicans last week and include penalties for any international companies trading with Iran.
Obama said after signing the package:
“We are ratcheting up the pressure on the Iranian government for its failure to meet its obligations, and today we are taking another step. A step that demonstrates the broad and bipartisan support for holding Iran accountable. I am pleased to sign into law the toughest sanctions against Iran ever passed by the US Congress.”
Iran says its nuclear program is for energy but the West suspects it is for nuclear weapons.
The new US restrictions go beyond the fourth round of UN sanctions agreed by the Security Council last month.