Australia Expands Iran Sanctions Amid Nuclear Concerns

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says measures will target people, companies involved in Iran nuclear programs, will restrict Australia business with Iran's petroleum, financial sectors.

Australia has expanded sanctions against Iran amid growing concerns over the country's suspected nuclear weapons program.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement Tuesday that the measures will target people and companies involved in Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs and will restrict Australia's business with Iran's petroleum and financial sectors.

Nuclear reactor, Isfahan, Iran - AP - 2009/2011
AP

Rudd cited last week's attacks on the British Embassy in Tehran and a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report that suggested Iran was working to develop atomic weapons as reasons behind the sanctions.

The U.S., Britain and Canada also announced additional sanctions on Iran after the report was released. The sanctions are meant to pressure Iran's economy.

Meanwhile, according to a report by the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper on Monday, Iran's Revolutionary Guard has raised its alertness level fearing a military strike by a foreign power.

Western intelligence sources told the Telegraph that the commander of the Revolutionary Guard Mohammed Ali Jaafari issued a command to raise operational readiness, fearing what the report called "potential external strikes and covert attacks."

Also Monday, U.S. military officials said that they were concerned that a stealthy surveillance drone that crashed in Iran could give Tehran the opportunity to glean information about the classified program.