In its latest bid to press Iran to halt its uranium production, the US is planning to impose strong and immediate new sanctions against Teharan that will target its elite Revolutionary Guards, the military force believed to run the clandestine nuclear weapons effort.
The Obama administration, which has completed a fresh review of Iran's nuclear progress, said current troubles "give us a window to impose the first sanctions that may make the Iranians think the nuclear programme isn't worth the price tag."
"The long-discussed sanctions would initiate the latest phase in a strategy to force Iran to comply with UN demands to halt production of nuclear fuel," The New York Times today reported citing unnamed officials.
This time, the White House wants to focus the new sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps because it wants to avoid angering Iranians protesting in the streets by depriving them of Western goods, the report said.
The US is planning to go ahead with the new sanctions despite acknowledging that three previous rounds of restrictions have failed to deter Iran.
The administration also aims to get Arab and Asian nations to join Europe in cutting off financial transactions with front companies for the Revolutionary Guards.