The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today in Washington that if Iran rejects offers of engagements over its nuclear program, the US would impose “very tough sanctions” against the country.
“We are also laying the groundwork for the kind of very tough, I think you said crippling, sanctions that might be necessary in the event that our offers are either rejected or the process is inconclusive or unsuccessful,” Clinton told the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives.
Sanctions on gasoline exports to Iran and oil imports from the county are said to be among the “crippling sanctions” being considered in the event Iran do not accept any compromise on its nuclear program.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said in Tehran today that Iran is ready for “constructive dialogue” with world powers over its nuclear program [IRNA, 22 April].
Clinton’s warning today was the harshest language used by the new Obama administration on Iranian nuclear program. The two countries are inching toward a showdown over the issue. Any crippling sanctions, such as the halt of the sales of gasoline to Iran, can quickly escalate the tensions with Iran and lead into a wider confrontation with Tehran.