WASHINGTON, July 31 President Barack Obama
announced new U.S. sanctions against Iran's energy,
petrochemical and financial sectors on Tuesday that he said
would further pressure the country for failing to meet
international nuclear obligations.
In a statement, Obama said the United States remained
committed to finding a diplomatic resolution to the standoff
with Tehran but was committed "to hold the Iranian government
accountable for its actions."
"If the Iranian government continues its defiance, there
should be no doubt that the United States and our partners will
continue to impose increasing consequences," he said. Obama has
been criticized by Republican presidential challenger Mitt
Romney for failing to act strongly enough to stop Iran from
gaining a nuclear weapon.
(Reporting by Laura MacInnis; Editing by Will Dunham)