U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on May 18 that the permanent members of the UN Security Council — Russia, China, the U.S., U.K. and France — and Germany have drafted a sanctions resolution designed to pressure Iran into stopping its pursuit of enriched uranium, a material that can be used for a bomb.
“The Iranians have been around for thousands of years, trading and selling and getting around various constraints and what not,” Powell said. “They’re very clever. And they know what sanctions might be coming. And I’m sure that they have done their own planning and have their own counter-sanction strategy.”
Powell’s comments echoed those of a top Iranian dissident, Mohsen Kadivar, a senior cleric and a visiting professor at Duke University’s department of religion, who predicted last week that “they will not manage to isolate Iran with sanctions.” Kadivar was a student of the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a top cleric and dissident whose death in December reignited anti-government demonstrations.