Tuesday, April 26, 2011

US exploring new sanctions against Syria

Washington, Apr. 26 (ANI): The White House said on Monday it was exploring new sanctions against Syria - mostly involving the assets of top officials around President Bashar al-Assad.
Obama administration officials speaking on condition of anonymity said imposing financial sanctions would have a limited effect.
According to the New York Times, the Obama administration faces problems with Syria that are similar to those involving North Korea and Myanmar.
The United States has already banned transactions with the Commercial Bank of Syria in 2006. In early 2007, it accused four government-related research organizations of working on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and banned transactions with them.
But later that year, when Israel found a nuclear reactor under construction in the Syrian desert and destroyed it in an air strike, the United States took no further action, in part because the Bush administration could not think of any truly effective sanctions.
Now the Obama administration is looking for specific sanctions against individual leaders, though most of their money is probably in Europe or Lebanon, the New York Times reports.
So far, President Obama has stopped well short of calling on President Assad to step down, or of declaring, as he did of Libya's leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, that Mr. Assad had lost the moral authority to lead his country.
Jay Carney, the president's press secretary, said Monday that it was "up to the people of Syria to decide who its leaders should be." (ANI)