DAVID E. SANGER and MARK LANDLER
October 16, 2011
WASHINGTON — President Obama is pressing United Nations nuclear inspectors to release classified intelligence information showing that Iran is designing and experimenting with nuclear weapons technology. The president’s push is part of a larger American effort to further isolate and increase pressure on Iran 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, including new data from recent months, it would almost certainly revive a debate that has been dormant during the Arab Spring about how aggressively the United States and its allies, including Israel, should move to halt Iran’s suspected weapons program.
Over the longer term, several senior Obama administration officials said in interviews, they are mulling a ban on financial transactions with Iran’s central bank — a move that has been opposed by China and other Asian nations. Also being considered is an expansion of the ban on the purchase of petroleum products sold by companies controlled by the country’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The Revolutionary Guards are also believed 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.
This article was posted: Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:07 am