'Iran's economy in shambles from sanctions'

At Jewish fundraiser, US President Obama says his administration has united the world on Iran nukes.

January 20, 2012 10:41
2 minute read.
US President Barack Obama [file]

US President Barack Obama smile 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)


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US-led sanctions have devastated the Iranian economy, AFP quoted US President Barack Obama as saying Friday. "[Sanctions] have been so effective that even the Iranians have had to acknowledge that their economy is in shambles."

The US president's comments follow recent announcements by the EU of impending European sanctions on Iran targeting oil imports and Tehran's Central Bank. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also visited Holland this week, saying that he was putting pressure on European countries to immediately impose an embargo on Iranian oil, and not to delay it until July.

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US: Iran still has path to end nuclear dispute
EU: No new nuclear negotiation efforts with Iran

Speaking at a Jewish community fundraising event in New York, Obama said: "when I came into office, Iran was united and the world was divided. And now what we have is a united international community that is saying to Iran, you've got to change your ways." He added that the US has "been able to organize folks like China and Russia that previously would have never gone along with something like this," AFP reported.

He said that the US had organized "unprecedented" sanctions, the goal of which were to announce "unequivocally that we're not going to tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of this Iranian regime."

During the fundraising event, Obama also decried the lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but emphasized his administration's support for the Jewish State. "We've got the strongest military cooperation that we've ever had between our two nations. That's not my opinion, by the way - that's the Israeli government's opinion," AFP quoted him as saying.

The US president's comments came as Gen. Martin Dempsey is visiting Israel. The US senior military officer arrived Thursday for talks on Iran, and is set to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The US president's comments also echoed a similar statement made Thursday by US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro, who said that Washington and Jerusalem were in complete coordination in efforts to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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