- WASHINGTON, Jan 11, 2012 (IPS) – The Barack Obama administration is increasingly giving the impression that it supports a policy of regime change against Iran – a policy that could backfire and convince Iran to build nuclear weapons.
Senior U.S. officials have suggested recently that mounting economic sanctions are meant to “tighten the noose” around the Iranian government.
The Washington Post on Tuesday quoted an unnamed senior U.S. intelligence official as saying that the goal of sanctions was regime collapse.
The Post later amended the story to say that the official had been misquoted and that the Obama administration hopes sanctions will increase “public discontent that will help compel the government to abandon an alleged nuclear weapons program.”
On Wednesday, meanwhile, unknown assailants assassinated the fourth Iranian nuclear scientist in two years – Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, deputy director of Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.
The Iranian government blamed Israel and the United States for the killing, which, following the pattern of previous cases, took place when motorcyclists put sticky plastic explosives on a car carrying Roshan through Tehran traffic.
The harsh new rhetoric and the assassination come in the context of an escalating crisis that includes a massive attack on an Iranian missile facility that killed a top missile scientist and new sanctions directed against Iran’s central bank and oil exports.