Iran Nuclear NewsU.S. to outline new Iran sanctions

U.S. to outline new Iran sanctions

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ImageWall Street Journal: The Obama administration will this week introduce a paper to the permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany outlining Iranian individuals and firms to be targeted in a new sanctions regime, said senior officials involved in the diplomacy. The Wall Street Journal

By JAY SOLOMON and JOE LAURIA

ImageLONDON—The Obama administration will this week introduce a paper to the permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany outlining Iranian individuals and firms to be targeted in a new sanctions regime, said senior officials involved in the diplomacy.

The U.S. paper specifically targets entities controlled by Tehran's elite military unit, the Revolutionary Guards, and marks an escalation of Washington's financial campaign against Iran for its defiance of international demands for a halt to its nuclear program.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides are selling tougher sanctions on Iran to key allies and Security Council members attending international conferences in London this week, specifically China and Russia.

Mrs. Clinton stressed Wednesday that Iran has clearly rebuffed the international community's calls for dialogue over its nuclear program. And she stressed that the international community must now make good on its pledge to increase pressure on Tehran.

"We believe there's a growing understanding in the international community that Iran should face consequences," Mrs. Clinton told reporters in London.

She was accompanied by the Obama administration's chief architect of financial sanctions against Iran, Under Treasury Secretary Stuart Levey.

To support this effort, the U.S. mission to the U.N. will present a paper by the end of this week to the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany with elements of the proposed new sanctions on Iran, according to U.S. officials and a senior Western diplomat. The six nations will then have a conference call on Friday to discuss the ideas, the officials said.

The U.S. ideas will build on three rounds of existing U.N. sanctions on Iran and will target individuals and business interests, particularly those tied of the Revolutionary Guards, said these officials.

U.S. officials believe the IRGC is playing a leading role in Iran's nuclear program, as well as the country's crackdown on democracy activists disputing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's June re-election..

Mrs. Clinton met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Wednesday in London and both signaled afterwards that time was running short for Iran.

Russia has traditionally been reluctant to pursue sanctions on Tehran, due to extensive military and economic ties. But Mr. Lavrov voiced frustration that Tehran backed out of a nuclear-fuel agreement that Moscow helped design last October in a bid to reduce tensions.

"It is clear that it is not possible to wait forever," Mr. Lavrov said on Russian state television. "We are disappointed that Iran has not reacted constructively to the proposals" offered by world powers.

Mrs. Clinton will meet Thursday with her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in a bid to push the sanctions issue forward, according to U.S. officials.

Beijing is viewed as the biggest obstacle to pervasive sanctions being implemented against Iran at the Security Council. Two weeks ago, the Chinese only sent a lower level delegate to a U.N. meeting designed to discuss the Iran issue.

U.S. and European officials, however, believe that Beijing will eventually agree to support some form of sanctions, due to fears China could be isolated at the Security Council. These measures would then be followed by more punitive unilateral U.S. and European Union sanctions, possibly targeting Iran's gasoline and liquefied natural gas imports as well as financial firms.

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