Iran on way to be military dictatorship: Clinton

DONA: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today Iran was becoming a military dictatorship, a new US accusation in the midst of rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear ambitions and crack down on anti-government protesters.

Speaking to Arab students at Carnegie Mellon’s Doha campus, Clinton said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps appears to have gained so much power that it effectively is supplanting the government. “Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship,” she said.

“That is our view.” Last week the US Treasury Department announced that it was freezing

the assets in US jurisdictions of

a Revolutionary Guard general and four subsidiaries of a previously penalised construction company he runs because

of their alleged involvement in producing and spreading weapons of mass destruction.

The Revolutionary Guard has long been a pillar of Iran’s regime as a force separate from the ordinary armed forces. The Guard now has a hand in every critical area, including missile development, oil resources, dam building, road construction, telecommunications and nuclear technology.

It also has absorbed the

paramilitary Basij as a full-fledged part of its command structure - giving the militia greater funding and a stronger presence in Iran’s internal politics.

Asked if the US is planning a military attack on Iran, Clinton said “no.” The US is focused on gaining international support for sanctions “that will be particularly aimed at those enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, which we believe is in effect supplanting the government of Iran,” she said. The Obama administration is trying to “send a message to Iran - a very clear message” that the US is still open to engagement “but that we will not stand idly by while you pursue a nuclear program that can be used to threaten your neighbours and even beyond,” Clinton said.

Later, Clinton told reporters, “The civilian leadership is

either preoccupied with its

internal political situation or

is ceding ground to the Revolutionary Guard.”