Iran has responded fiercely to the United States’ unilateral imposition of sanctions, declaring that the measures are doomed to fail.
The head of the Revolutionary Guards, singled out by Washington as a “supporter of terrorism”, insisted that his troops are more than ever ready to defend the ideals of the revolution, according to the BBC.
Foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini declared: “The hostile American policies towards the respectable people of Iran and the country’s legal institutions are contrary to international law, without value and – as in the past – doomed to failure.”
The sanctions, the most severe action taken against Iran since the aftermath of 1979 revolution, are designed to cut international financial support to Teheran’s theocratic regime and target the Revolutionary Guards in particular.
Announcing the decision, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted that a “diplomatic solution” to the differences between Iran and the West was still possible but described the actions as part of a decision “to confront the threatening behaviour of the Iranians”.
However, the move has deepened the rift within the international community over how to deal with Teheran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated that the action was ill-thought out. “You can run around like mad people wielding razor blades,” he said. “But it is not the best way to resolve the problem.”
Growing frustration within the Bush administration at the blocking strategy of Moscow and Beijing against any United Nations measures on Iran is becoming increasingly evident.
Nicholas Burns, US Assistant Secretary of State, suggested that Russia and China are propping up President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime.
“The Russian government should stop selling arms to Iran and the Chinese government should stop investing in Iran,” he told the BBC.