The United States is urging the United Nations Security Council to implement greater sanctions on Iran, saying harsher action could slow down the country's nuclear program.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told the council Wednesday that fully implementing sanctions will show Iran there is a price to pay for its deception.
Iran is already on the receiving end of four rounds of UN sanctions because of its continued effort to develop nuclear weapons and its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, which, Tehran claims, is only an effort to build a peaceful nuclear program purely for civilian use.
Rice also pointed to last month's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency which concluded that some work by Iran could not be used for any other purpose than making nuclear weapons, The Associated Press reported.
No one, after reading the November report, can reasonably believe Iran's contention that its continuing uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only, she said.
RIce called on the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Iran and its panel of experts to take robust action in implementing sanctions and investigating violations.
The sanctions include: a ban on Iranian arms exports, prohibiting the import of several categories of heavy weapons, barring Iranian investment in uranium mining, banning the import of nuclear and missile-related materials and freezing the assets of key individuals, organizations and companies involved in nuclear and missile activities.
Still, sanctions, Rice said, are only a means to an end.
In the face of Iran's deception and intransigence , the international community must speak with one voice, making clear that Iranian actions jeopardize international peace and security and will only further isolate the regime, she said.