Iran is becoming a military dictatorship, says Clinton
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, told an audience of university students in Qatar yesterday that she believes Iran is drifting towards becoming a military dictatorship because of the increasing influence of the élite Revolutionary Guard in the country's leadership and politics.
The remarks seemed aimed in part to set the stage for a new round of international sanctions on Iran in the dispute over its alleged nuclear ambitions. Those measures, if approved, are likely to target the Guard and its web of business activities.
"We see that the government of Iran is being supplanted and that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship," Mrs Clinton remarked during a televised debate at a campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
"We are planning to try to bring the world community together in applying pressure to Iran through sanctions adopted by the United Nations that will be aimed at those enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard," she added.
Last week Tehran announced it was starting to upgrade its stockpile of 3.5 per cent enriched uranium to a 20 per cent level of enrichment. The move flew in the face of efforts by the West to finalise a deal, under which Iran would export low-enriched uranium and reimport it as fuel rods suitable for use only in a reactor producing medical isotopes.
Iran continues to insist that its nuclear activities are geared to civilian uses only. The West, however, remains deeply sceptical. "Iran has consistently failed to live up to its responsibilities," Mrs Clinton went on. "It has refused to demonstrate to the international community that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful."
The official in charge of the nuclear programme, Ali Akbar Salehi, said that, since last week's decision on upgrading the stockpile, Iran had received a fresh proposal for a settlement. "After Iran's decision to go for domestic production of 20 percent enriched uranium, a proposal was given to us by Russia, France and the United States, which we are reviewing," he was quoted as saying. No such new proposal exists, however, US officials insisted.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, used a visit to Moscow to urge Russia to support "sanctions with teeth" in the UN Security Council. Israel has not hidden its alarm over Iran's nuclear activities and has publicly said it will not close the door on possible military action.
The real intentions of Iran remain murky, with many of its words and actions apparently aimed either at quelling political dissatisfaction at home or increasing its leverage in negotiations with the West.
Clinton said the Obama administration is trying to "send a message to Iran – a very clear message" that the US is still open to finding a diplomatic settlement. She added, however: "We will not stand idly by while you pursue a nuclear program that can be used to threaten your neighbours and even beyond".
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- < Previous
- Next >
£17000 - £25000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Birmingham office of thi...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: HoD Maths Salary: MP...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Client based in West London is looking ...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of English MP...