Obama announces new Iran, Syria technology sanctions (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Natasha Mozgovaya and The Associated Press 04/24/12)
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United States President Barack Obama on Monday announced new
sanctions on people and entities in Iran and Syria who have deemed to
use technology to target citizens and erode their human rights.
Speaking at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. before a crowd of
Holocaust survivors, administration officials, members of Congress,
and leaders of Jewish organizations, Obama commented on the situation
in Syria and Iran.
Obama on Sunday signed an executive order leveling sanctions against
those providing information technologies to the Syrian and Iranian
"These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to
repress them," Obama said. "And it´s one more step that we can take
toward the day that we know will come, the end of the Assad regime
that has brutalized the Syrian people, and allow the Syrian people to
chart their own destiny."
Obama´s new steps aim to counter violations of human abuses through
technology. While rebellions in countries like Libya and Egypt have
been fueled by cellphones and social media, other regimes have used
technology to track dissidents or block Internet access.
For example, Iran has provided the regime of Assad with technology to
jam cellphones and block or monitor the social networking sites
rebels would use to organize demonstrations.
Obama has also asked the U.S. intelligence community to include
assessments of the likelihood of mass killings in its National
The White House also announced a set of "challenge" grants for
companies that help create new technologies to help warn citizens in
countries where mass killings may occur.
Addressing the Iranian nuclear threat, Obama pledged U.S. support for
Israel. “When faced with a regime that threatens global security,
denies the Holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel, the United
States will do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a
nuclear weapon,” said Obama.
Obama mentioned, however, that there are other options aside from
military intervention. "We know that our work will never be done.
There will be conflicts that are not easily resolved. There´ll be
senseless deaths that aren´t prevented. We can´t intervene militarily
every time there is injustice in the world, but we have other tools,"
said Obama. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/24/12)
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