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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Today the United States is imposing new sanctions on Iraq's neighbor, Iran. Two top advisers to President Bush say they want to punish Iran for supporting terrorist organizations. And they also want Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke this morning at the State Department.

Secretary CONDOLEEZZA RICE (U.S. State Department): These actions will help to protect the international financial system from the illicit activities of the Iranian Government, and they will provide a powerful deterrent to every international bank and company that thinks of doing business with the Iranian government.

INSKEEP: The U.S. is acting alone here without other governments, but hopes to pressure foreign companies to comply. These sanctions are aimed specifically at Iran's defense ministry, its Revolutionary Guard Corps, and a number of banks.

Secretary Rice said today's measures are in response to what she called, quote, "a comprehensive policy to confront the threatening behavior of the Iranians."

Sec. RICE: The Iranian government continues to spurn our offer of open negotiations, instead threatening peace and security by pursuing nuclear technologies that can lead to a nuclear weapon, building dangerous ballistic missiles, supporting Shia militants in Iraq, and terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

INSKEEP: When she spoke of Iran spurning an offer of open negotiations, here's what Secretary Rice meant. The U.S. has offered to talk with Iran, although only if Iran suspends its nuclear enrichment activities first. Rice says the United States remains open to what she called a diplomatic solution.

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