Saturday, June 9, 2007

US Intensifies Two-Track Pressure on Iran

On economic front, the US has stepped up commercial pressure on Iran. On Friday, Washington black-listed four more Iranian companies for their involvement in the country’s nuclear program. According to reports coming out of Israel, the White House has told the Israelis it plans to tighten economic sanctions on Iran and assess their impact at year-end.

On Wednesday, Israel’s deputy prime minister Shaul Mofaz also said that diplomatic efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program should bear results by the end of 2007 (please see the posting for Wednesday 6 June on this blog).

The Group of Eight, the world’s leading industrialized nations, on Friday threatened to take “further measures” if Iran continues its uranium enrichment program in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

On the military front, the Pentagon today selected the chief of Navy Admiral Michael Mulen to head the US military. Admiral Mullen, along with the newly-appointed commander of US Central Command, admiral William Fallon, whose area of responsibility includes the Persian Gulf, are the top two US military commanders who would manage any future conflicts with Iran. The two admirals have extensive experience in aircraft carriers and cruise missile warfare.

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