US legislators have proposed banning transactions with an Iranian bank over claims Tehran was plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US. Journalist Eli Clifton, however, says few countries will agree to impose sanctions against Iran.
Washington insists it has collected sound evidence that the plot was supported and financed by certain elements of the Iranian government. The director of the US State Department’s Policy Planning Office, Jake Sullivan, announced on Friday that Washington’s sanctions will target specific individuals.
Meanwhile, senior US policymakers have suggested that the alleged plot might only be one of several terrorist attacks Iran has planned for the world.
“It’s hard for me to believe that there is just one plot involving the United States,” Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the ABC television network. “I think we need to explore whether there are other plots going on [in] other countries.”
Tehran dismissed the plot allegations as baseless, but American senators are already boiling with anger. An economic war on Tehran is an option the legislators are putting on the table.
US Senator Mark Kirk, declaring the plot to be an “act of war,” called on the Obama administration to consider punishing Iran’s Bank Markazi, which finances the Quds Force – an elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said to be involved in the plot.
Banning all transactions by the Federal Reserve and the EU Central Bank with Markazi would also cripple the Iranian currency, Kirk was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“The type of things discussed thus far [in the US] would be quite powerful and potentially devastating to Iran and its economy,” Clifton, a national security reporter, told RT. Clifton added that there has even been talk in the US about changing the entire regime.
But, he added, Obama’s hope for a multilateral response from the international community may come at a dire diplomatic price.
“Right now I think they will find it quite difficult to engage both Russia and China or countries like India, which have commercial ties to Tehran and to the government there,” said Clifton.
Washington, however, is nonetheless making efforts to change minds in Russia. A US team is being dispatched to Moscow to brief officials on the Iranian alleged plot, and may arrive as soon as this Sunday.
On Tuesday, Washington announced that they disrupted an Iranian government’s plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States and as well as to blow up the Israeli embassy in Washington.
Two men, Mansour Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, have been charged with conspiracy to kill Saudi Arabian ambassador, Adel Al-Jubeir.
Shakuri remains at large, while Arbabsiar was arrested on September 29 at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. He made an appearance in a Manhattan court on Tuesday.