Iran will suffer consequences as a result of its refusal to cooperate with the international community on its nuclear program, U.S. President Barack Obama said during his first State of the Union address late Wednesday night in Washington.
The U.S. president's comments came as Time Magazine reported late Wednesday night that the Obama administration was preparing to circulate new sanctions against Tehran.
In his speech, Obama warned that Iranian leaders will face "consequences" if Tehran does not come clean about its nuclear goals, which the West suspects are meant to produce a weapon. Iran claims its program is limited to civilian energy uses.
"As Iran's leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: they, too, will face growing consequences," Obama said.
Iran has rebuffed diplomatic overtures by Obama's administration to engage in direct dialogue to resolve the crisis. Obama has said that the United States and its partners will push for additional sanctions if Iran continues to stonewall the international community.
Also Wednesday, U.S. officials reportedly told Time Magazine that the U.S. was preparing "tough" new sanctions against Iran. According to those officials, the new measures, targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as well as financial institutions, are being finalized before being presented for debate in the United Nations Security Council.
The officials, who spoke with Time on condition of anonymity, would not say when a vote might take place, but said negotiations on a proposed fourth round of U.S. Security Council sanctions could begin within weeks.
Earlier Wednesday, German engineering conglomerate Siemens announced that it would cut all future trade ties with Iran, although the company said it intended to maintain existing contracts.
Germany, one of six countries seeking to persuade Iran to suspend its atomic work, is one of the biggest exporters to Iran despite three rounds of modest United Nations sanctions prompted by past Iranian evasions of nuclear monitoring.
Siemens trade with Iran has come under fire from Israel, despite the fact that Israeli government companies continue to provide contracts for airports and paving roads to the German company.
The company has also been under pressure from Jewish and other organizations, including a German group called group Stop the Bomb, which is working to stop Iran's nuclear program.
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