BEIRUT – Iran’s foreign minister yesterday rejected Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s charge that the country is becoming a military dictatorship, calling it a “trick’’ aimed at influencing other Persian Gulf nations.
Iran regrets that Clinton is “seeking to divert public opinion in the region,’’ Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said yesterday, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
“We see these methods as a new trick although its nature is clear to the people and authorities in the region and it will have no effect.’’
Clinton, speaking Monday in Doha, Qatar, said Iran’s supreme leader, government, president, and Parliament are “being supplanted’’ by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the military unit that’s played a key role in suppressing antigovernment protests. She said the Guards are in control of Iran’s nuclear program and should be the target of sanctions.
In a discussion with students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, yesterday, Clinton said “evidence is building’’ that Iran wants nuclear technology to build weapons. Iran’s government says its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes.
President Obama is demanding tougher United Nations sanctions against Iran to persuade the regime to cease uranium enrichment, which the United States says is part of a plan to acquire nuclear weapons. Clinton is on a three-day tour of the Persian Gulf to seek support sanctions. >>>