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U.S. lauds new EU sanctions on Iran, Syria

(Xinhua)

10:27, December 02, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Thursday applauded announcement by the European Union (EU) of new economic sanctions and other measures against both Iran and Syria.

The recent EU moves, together with U.S.' battery of targeted sanctions, "signal once again the resolve of the international community to address the assault on the fundamental rights of the Syrian people by the Assad regime, along with the continued failure of the Iranian regime to meet its international obligations," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

"We applaud the EU's determination to pressure these regimes to end their unacceptable actions, as well as its readiness to consider further steps going forward," he said in a statement.

The EU decided on Thursday to place further restrictive measures against Syria "in light of the continued repression" there, which are related to the country's energy, financial, banking and trade sectors and include the blacklisting of additional individuals and entities.

The regional bloc also increased sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and threatened to target its oil and finance sectors next, following Britain's closure a day earlier of its embassy in Tehran in the wake of a storming by Iranian protesters.

The EU moved against Syria and Iran after European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso held a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday in Washington.

"We look forward to continued coordination with both the European Union and other concerned governments to increase the pressure on both Syria and Iran to ensure that their flagrant violations of international norms comes to an end," Carney said in his statement.

Syria was plunged into turmoil in March when anti-government protests broke out. Like the U.S and the EU, the Arab League and Turkey have slapped their own targeted sanctions on the Arab country lately to press President Bashar Assad to step down, but violence continues there and has claimed more than 3,500 lives, the United Nations estimates.

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