WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday hailed new European Union sanctions imposing an embargo on Iranian oil to stifle funds reaching Tehran's suspect nuclear program.

Obama applauded the actions of the European Union "to impose additional sanctions on Iran in response to the regime's continuing failure to fulfill its international obligations regarding its nuclear program."

In a written statement issued by the White House, Obama said the sanctions "demonstrate once more the unity of the international community in addressing the serious threat presented by Iran's nuclear program.

"The United States will continue to impose new sanctions to increase the pressure on Iran," he added.

The United States, the European Union and other Western nations accuse Iran of seeking atomic weapons, but Tehran insists its program is purely for civilian energy purposes.