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Obama orders freezing of Iran's property under U.S. jurisdiction (2)


08:12, February 07, 2012

Accusing Iran of continuing to pursue a course that is dangerous, he told reporters at a regular news briefing that "We will ramp up the effort to isolate and pressure the regime, working with our international allies."

In an interview with the NBC television network on Sunday, Obama said the U.S. will work with Israel to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and urged Iran to "stand down" on the current standoff.

When asked if Israel is determined to attack Iran, Obama said he didn't think that Israel has made such a decision. He emphasized his goal of resolving the standoff diplomatically, while reiterating that he was not taking any options off the table.

The U.S. and its European allies have expanded their sanctions against Iran to target its oil exports, the lifeline of the country's economy, prompting threats by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most critical oil route.

The Washington Post, quoting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, reported last Thursday that Israel might strike Iran as early as this spring.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warned the next day against any war threats on Iran, saying "Threats of war is for the loss of the United States and the war itself is ten times for the loss of the United States."

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