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. US wants more sanctions on Iran
WASHINGTON, Dec 23 (AFP) Dec 24, 2006
The United States wants the international community to take more action against Iran, and impose more sanctions than those adopted Saturday by the UN Security Council, the State Department's number three diplomat said.

"We don't think this resolution is enough in itself. We want the international community to take further action," US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said after the council slapped the first-ever UN sanctions on Iran, targeting its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in response to its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work.

"We would like to see more vigorous national and multilateral action against Iran, stronger sanctions -- and not just UN Security Council sanctions but outside the Council -- and we would like to see countries to stop doing business as usual with Iran," Burns stressed in a conference call.

"We are certainly not going to put all of our eggs in the UN basket. We are going to try to convince countries -- especially the European Union countries, Japan -- to consider some of the financial measures that we have undertaken," added Burns.

Burns mentioned "the campaign we have launched to convince some of the international lending institutions and private banks that they should shut down lending to Iran.

"Iran has begun to launder its money through some of these financial institutions without the knowledge of the institutions to arm and finance Hezbollah and Hamas and other terrorist organizations. It is interesting that Credit Suisse, Credit Lyonnais and HSBC have all stopped lending to Iran in the last few months," said Burns.

Burns recalled that the United States has had sanctions on Iran for 27 years. "There is not much more we can do on our own because we have full scope sanctions on Iran in every conceivable area," he said.

"We would like countries to stop selling arms to Iran. We would like countries to try to limit export credits to Iran," he said, adding that about 10 European countries had substantial export credits to Iran.

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