White House mulls sanc­tions

More­work is needed to re­spond to bal­lis­tic mis­sile launches.

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

honolulu » The White House said Satur­day it has more diplo­matic and tech­ni­cal work to do be­fore it will an­nounce any sanc­tions in re­sponse to bal­lis­tic mis­sile launches by Iran.

The U.S. is con­sid­er­ing des­ig­nat­ing a num­ber of ad­di­tional tar­gets for sanc­tions re­lated to Iran’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram. Congress has been no­ti­fied of those de­lib­er­a­tions.

Some law­mak­ers have crit­i­cized the ad­min­is­tra­tion for what they de­scribe as de­layed puni­tive ac­tion in re­sponse to Iran’s re­cent mis­sile tests.

Ben Rhodes, a deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, said the pact that the U.S. and oth­ers ne­go­ti­ated with Iran last year to pre­vent it from de­vel­op­ing a nu­cle­ar­weapon will not im­pede fu­ture sanc­tions.

“The fact of the mat­ter is we have ad­di­tional work that needs to be done be­fore we would an­nounce ad­di­tional des­ig­na­tions, but this is not some­thing that we would ne­go­ti­ate with the Ira­nian gov­ern­ment,” Rhodes said.

“They don’t get a say in who we im­pose sanc­tions on.”

Rhodes spoke with re­porters about the year ahead in for­eign pol­icy as Pres­i­dent Barack Obama pre­pared to re­turn from his an­nual Christ­mas va­ca­tion in Hawaii.

Rhodes said the ad­di­tion­al­work theU.S. is un­der­tak­ing is not based on push­back from Iran.

“We fully ex­pect them to protest our sanc­tions,” he said. “They do that when they know we’re preparing them. They do that af­terwe make an­nounce­ments of des­ig­na­tions.”

In this lat­est case, Rhodes said, “we just have ad­di­tional work that we need to do as aU.S. gov­ern­ment be­fore we would an­nounce ad­di­tional des­ig­na­tions.”

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