Clinton says Iran is becoming a military dictatorship
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed Iran was heading towards a military dictatorship and warned it poses an international threat.
During a tour of the region, she spoke in an interview with the Al-Jazeera TV network to students at a university in Doha, Qatar’s capital. She said the Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s elite army corps, had gained so much power they had effectively supplanted the government.
“We see the government of Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the parliament is being supplanted and Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship,” she said, speaking at the Qatari branch of Carnegie-Mellon University.
The US is seeking to press Iran into curbing its nuclear ambitions. Tehran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is purely to meet the country’s civilian energy needs.
“I fear the rise of the influence and power of the Revolutionary Guard poses a very direct threat to everyone.”
Earlier, aides revealed Mrs Clinton would push Saudi Arabia to help persuade China to support a tougher stand against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Mrs Clinton said the Obama administration was trying to “send a clear message to iran” that the US is still open to talks, “but that we will not stand idly by while you pursue a nuclear programme that can be used to threaten your neighbours and even beyond”.
“I’m not predicting what will happen but I think the trend with this greater and greater military lock on leadership decisions should be disturbing to Iranians as well as those of us on the outside,’ she added.
“It is a far cry from the Islamic Republic that had elections and different points of view within the leadership circle.
“That is part of the reason that we are so concerned with what we are seeing going on there.’
About the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians she said: ‘I’m hopeful that this year will see the commencement of serious negotiations that will cover every issue that is outstanding.’