MELBOURNE, Australia, Nov. 8, 2010 - The United States is seeing signs that sanctions against Iran by the international community are starting to have an impact, and, while working to strengthen its relationship with China, will maintain the right to navigate its naval ships in international waters, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today.
U.N. Security Council sanctions, plus even more rigorous sanctions imposed by individual counties, are "creating pressure on the Iranian government" and "getting their attention," Gates said during a news conference following today's Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations.
"Without getting into details, we see evidence that the sanctions are biting more deeply than the Iranians anticipated they would," Gates told reporters in a roundtable following the news conference. "And that the actions individual countries have taken, on top of the U.N. Security Council resolution, have had considerable effect in terms of aggravating Iran's trade and financial operations."
Gates reiterated President Barack Obama's statement that "all options are on the table" to get Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. "We are doing what we need to do to ensure that he has those options," Gates said.
He expressed confidence, however, that the political and economic approach now being taken shows promise.
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