By Eli Lake, The Washington Times
A draft U.N. Security Council resolution against Iran will target the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the security and paramilitary forces that have grown to dominate Iran’s economy since 2005, according to U.S. officials familiar with the U.S.-backed plan.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that the United States reached an agreement with Russia and China, two of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the U.N. Security Council on new sanctions that seek to punish Iran for violating U.N. controls on its uranium enrichment.
The sanctions deal appears to be a rebuke of Iran’s announcement Monday that it has agreed to ship some of its low-enriched uranium fuel to Turkey.
Speaking of that deal, Mrs. Clinton said: “This announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken by Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide. â€¦ There are a number of unanswered questions regarding the announcement coming from Tehran.”
If the draft is approved by the Security Council, it would be a major political victory for the Obama administration and its promise to impose tough sanctions on Iran, following the administration’s failed diplomatic overtures to Tehran during the past 17 months.
One official familiar with the U.N. sanctions draft said, “It is focused on the Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC]. It looks at the areas from shipping to banking to insurance that have been in discussions for years now.”
Specifically the sanctions will expand the list of individuals and companies affiliated with the guard subject to asset freeze and travel ban, but there is no agreement yet on who will be on that list. The new proposal will also expand the number of items on the arms embargo against Iran to include war ships, attack helicopters and battle tanks.
The focus on the IRGC is a different tack that many in Congress support. Currently, legislation aimed at discouraging companies from selling refined petroleum to Iran is in a House-Senate conference. The draft U.N. sanctions do not, for example, target Iran’s import of gasoline.
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