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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 20, 2008


U.S. Maintains Pressure on Iran

Over the past eight days, the U.S. Government has undertaken a number of steps to put Tehran on notice that the international community will not allow the Iranian government to misuse the international financial system or global transportation network to further its aspirations to obtain nuclear weapons capability, improve its missile systems, or support international terrorism.

UN Security Council Resolution 1803, adopted March 3, 2008, called for Member States to exercise vigilance over the activities of financial institutions in their territories with Iranian banks and their foreign subsidiaries to avoid contributing to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities and the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. The United States has, therefore, imposed targeted financial measures against Bahrain-based Future Bank, which is controlled by Iran-based Bank Melli, and made available information on Iran’s financial institutions to foreign governments and banks, as well as to the public.

Additionally, vessels that have recently visited Iran will be scrutinized when arriving in U.S. ports because Iran has not maintained effective anti-terrorism measures in its ports.

Tehran must end its support for terrorism and become a constructive member of the international community. On the nuclear issue, we continue to call upon Iran to comply with the demands of the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency. We remain committed to a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. The generous P5+1 incentives package remains on the table, as does the Secretary’s historic offer to sit down with her Iranian counterpart, at any time and any place, to discuss any issue, once Iran has fully and verifiably suspended its uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

2008/206


Released on March 20, 2008

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