By Ryan Matthew Dernick
Israel and Washington accused Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says “our nuclear program is a peaceful drive to generate electricity so that the world’s fourth-largest oil producer can export more of its gas and crude.”
In a statement released by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he insists that the nuclear ambitions of his country are for purely peaceful purposes. Iranian Army Chief said in a public statement to the United States this past Monday during the Iranian Missile Tests in the Strait of Hormuz saying ” That the U.S. should not bring its aircraft carriers into the Gulf again.” The Iranian Army Chief goes on to say we are not in the business of warning America more than once.”
Iran has been conducting a barrage of naval drills in the Gulf in recent days including test-firing several missiles. These exercises were held near the Strait of Hormuz, through which around 20% or 1/6th of the world’s traded oil supply passes.
Tehran said on Monday that “mock exercises on shutting the strait had been carried out, although there was no intention of closing it.”
The U.N. Security Council has already brought four successions of sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment ventures. Enriched uranium can be converted into nuclear weapons grade fissile material.
“These are the kinds of steps that we would like to see not just from our close allies and partners in places like Europe but from countries around the world”, according to US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
These sanctions include a ban on the supply of heavy weaponry and nuclear-related technology to Iran, a block on Iranian arms exports, and an asset freeze on key individuals and companies.
Sanctions against Iran Up to This Point
- Longstanding ban on all trade with Iran except for activities “intended to benefit the Iranian people”
- New sanctions against foreign firms dealing with Iran’s oil sector and central bank
- Restrictions on trade in equipment which could be used for uranium enrichment
- Asset freeze on individuals and organisations linked with nuclear programme
- Export ban on natural gas technology
- Ban on sales of heavy weaponry and nuclear technology to Iran
- Iranian arms exports blocked, and asset freeze for key individuals and firms
- Cargo inspections to detect and stop Iran’s acquisition of illicit materials