WASHINGTON — President Obama is pressing United Nations nuclear inspectors to release classified intelligence information showing that Iran is designing and experimenting with nuclear weapons technological innovation. The president’s thrust is part of a bigger American hard work to further isolate and increase strain on Iran immediately after accusing it of a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.
If the United Nations’ watchdog group agrees to publicize the evidence, such as new data from latest months, it would almost certainly revive a discussion that has been dormant in the course of the Arab Spring about how aggressively the United States and its allies, which includes Israel, must move to halt Iran’s suspected weapons program.
Over the lengthier expression, several senior Obama administration officials mentioned in interviews, they are mulling a ban on financial transactions with Iran’s central financial institution — a move that has been opposed by China and other Asian nations. Also being regarded as is an growth of the ban on the purchase of petroleum products marketed by businesses managed by the country’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The Innovative Guards are also considered to oversee the military side of the nuclear program, and they are the parent of the Quds Force, which Washington has accused of directing the assassination plot.
The proposed sanctions occur as administration officers confront skepticism close to the planet about their allegations that Iran was behind the plot and minimal possibilities about what they can do — as properly as expanding pressure from Republicans and some Democrats in Congress to just take harder action in opposition to Iran, with the central financial institution and the oil sector high on lawmakers’ lists.
All of the proposed sanctions have with them considerable political and financial pitfalls. Yukiya Amano, the careful director standard of the United Nations group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, talked publicly in September about publishing some of the most sensitive knowledge suggesting Iran labored on nuclear triggers and warheads. But officials who have spoken with him say he is involved that his inspectors could be ejected from Iran, shutting the finest, though slim, window into its nuclear pursuits.
Similarly, China and Russia, between other main Iranian buying and selling partners, have resisted further oil and economic sanctions, saying the target of isolating Iran is a inadequate technique. Even within the Obama administration, some officers say they concern any crackdown on Iranian oil exports could drive up oil prices when the United States and European economies are weak. As one senior official place it, “You don’t want to tip the U.S. into a downturn just to punish the Iranians.”
Senior administration officials, who would not communicate publicly about inner negotiations over the sanctions, say no recommendation on acting against the central bank has gone to Mr. Obama, who vowed last week to make sure Iran would encounter the “toughest sanctions” for what he explained was its role in the sensational scheme to employ a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi envoy.
The choice to press the International Atomic Energy Agency was brewing even ahead of the plot in opposition to the Saudi ambassador was uncovered, but that discovery prompted the White House to go after a complete-court, public press of the agency to release the hypersensitive intelligence.
Officers familiar with the evidence say it generates terribly unpleasant inquiries for the Iranians to answer, but does not definitively point to the building of a weapon ( via nytimes.com ).