Obama official: U.S. developing ‘comprehensive’ Iran sanctions plan


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top U.S. Treasury Department official said the Obama administration is developing a "comprehensive" plan for sanctions on Iran that would involve a variety of actions.

The plan "takes into account that no single sanction is a ‘silver bullet,’ " said Stuart Levey, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. "We will need to impose measures simultaneously in many different forms in order to be effective.

"It also takes into account Iran’s potential vulnerabilities and those activities that have the greatest influence on Iran’s decision makers," he said. "As we consider various measures, we are particularly mindful of potential unintended consequences on the people of Iran and the internal dynamic now playing out in that country."

Levey said he could not get into specifics in an open hearing about what sanctions were under consideration.

He said the United States was "working closely with our allies as we put together this strategy" because "financial measures are most effective when imposed as part of a broad-based effort with the support of the largest possible international coalition."

Levey cautioned that "we should be realistic about the ability of sanctions to achieve our political and security objectives with Iran," but that if "we accurately target the key vulnerabilities and fissures in Iran and then implement our plan with a broad coalition of governments and key private sector actors, we can at least demonstrate to the Iranian government that there are serious costs to any continued refusal to cooperate with the international community."

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