The United States welcomes the European Union’s prohibition of all Iranian crude oil imports and other sanctions on Iran's oil industry, which go into full effect today. This collective decision of the 27 countries of the European Union represents a substantial additional commitment on the part of our European allies and partners to seek a peaceful resolution that addresses the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. The United States and the European Union are committed to holding Iran accountable for failing to meet its international obligations. With this decision, our partners in the EU have underscored the seriousness with which the international community views the challenge of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
This action is an essential part of our concerted diplomatic efforts to present Iran with a clear choice between isolation or meeting its obligations. Iran has an opportunity to pursue substantive negotiations, beginning with expert level talks this week in Istanbul, and must take concrete steps toward a comprehensive resolution of the international community’s concerns with Iran’s nuclear activities.