Not clear who runs Iran, Clinton says

Oct. 27, 2011 at 1:15 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Washington finds it difficult to engage with Tehran because it's not clear who is making governmental decisions, the U.S. secretary of state said.

An already-strained relationship between the United States and Iran was exacerbated by recent claims that Iran was allegedly behind a plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir in an attack in Washington.

One of the accused, Gholam Shakuri, was suspected of working for Iran's al-Quds force.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during an interview with the BBC's Persian-language service that it was unclear who was making decisions in Tehran, noting that she felt that "Iran, unfortunately, is morphing into a military dictatorship."

Clinton added al-Quds and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp have tried to make alliances "with a ruthless bunch of killers" in the past.

Rumors circulated early this year that Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had called on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to step aside.

A source close to the IRGC told al-Arabiya in May that Khamenei ordered officials to get rid of supporters of Ahmadinejad, "especially in the circle of the senior officials."

Clinton, during her interview, claimed Tehran has an "aggressive behavior" toward its neighbors but also noted conflict wasn't on the horizon.

"We do not want a conflict with Iran but we do want to see the rulers of Iran change their outlook and their behavior," she said.

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