Wed, Jan 13, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Clinton calls for targeted sanctions


US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday the administration of US President Barack Obama has concluded that the best way to pressure Iran to come clean on its nuclear ambitions is to impose sanctions aimed at the country’s ruling elite.

“It is clear that there is a relatively small group of decision makers inside Iran,” she told reporters traveling with her on the first leg of a nine-day trip across the Pacific. “They are in both political and commercial relationships, and if we can create a sanctions track that targets those who actually make the decisions, we think that is a smarter way to do sanctions. But all that is yet to be decided upon.”

Clinton spoke as officials from the six nations trying to persuade Iran to prove its nuclear intentions are peaceful said senior diplomats from the group were preparing to meet possibly later this week to discuss the way ahead, including potential new sanctions.

Clinton mentioned that the meeting, of representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, China, Russia, Britain and France — plus Germany would meet at the end of the week in New York. She did not cite a specific day.

“They will be exploring the kind and degree of sanctions that we should be pursuing,” she said.

She was not specific about those inside Iran who might be targeted with new international sanctions, but her allusion to Iranian leaders with political and commercial ties suggested that she was referring to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite group that is separate from the Iranian military and is charged with protecting the Islamic revolution that brought the clerics to power in 1979.

Meanwhile, a nuclear physics professor at Tehran University was killed yesterday by a bomb-rigged motorcycle parked outside his home in Iran’s capital, state media reported.

Massoud Ali Mohammadi had just left his house on his way to work when the remote-controlled explosion went off, state-run Press TV said.

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