U.S. Prepares a ‘Significant Regime of Sanctions’ Against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

February 10, 2010

(ChattahBox)—- The difficult foreign relations between the United States and Iran just took a new, more ominous turn this week, with the advent of additional saber rattling by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatening an action on Thursday that “will punch the arrogance” of Western powers. And on Tuesday, Iran announced that it would begin producing uranium to a higher level of enrichment, raising new fears of the Islamic regime’s nuclear weapon capabilities. In light of Iran’s provocative acts, the Obama administration is stepping up efforts to impose strict international sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which runs Iran’s nuclear program.

Targeting the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards is a new tactic by the Obama administration and the United Nations. The Revolutionary Guards own and operate multiple companies and banks that finance its nuclear programs.

According to a report by The New York Times, the White House hopes to choke off the Revolutionary Guards’ ability to conduct business with other countries and to expose their practices to the Iranian population:

“Senior White House officials described what they said would be a “systematic” effort to drive a wedge between the Iranian population and the Revolutionary Guards, which the West says is responsible for running Iran’s nuclear program and has a record of supporting militant Islamist organizations and cracking down on antigovernment protesters.”

The White House is working to develop a very specific United Nations Security Council resolution that targets the names of companies and assets owned by the Guards. The goal is “to substantially increase pressure on the organization, which one senior administration official described as a new “entitled class” in Iran.”

On Tuesday, President Obama said the time for negotiations with Iran had passed and the White House, together with the UN will now work towards “developing a significant regime of sanctions that will indicate to them how isolated they are from the international community as a whole.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said that Iran is “racing forward to produce a nuclear weapon,” and that “crippling sanctions” absolutely “must be applied right now.”

The possible holdouts to such strict sanctions, China and Russia could seriously weaken the impact of the UN resolution, since those countries are two of Iran’s largest customers. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jiechi last week in London to convince the Communist country to join in the sanctions against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but China has not committed to the effort.

However, after Obama spoke with Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, the U.S. is certain it will have Russia’s support of the strict sanctions against Iran.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is pushing for a UN resolution imposing strict sanctions against Iran, to be enacted as early as March.

Source: The New York Times

Photo Source: AFP


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