U.S.: Iran facing 'unprecedented' isolation over nuclear program
U.S. national security adviser says that U.S., Russia and China are united in their opposition to Iran getting a nuclear weapon; sources say U.S. plans to sanction Iran's petrochemical industry.
The White House said on Saturday that Iran is facing an unprecedented degree of isolation, with major world powers united in their opposition to Iran getting a nuclear weapon.
"Russia, China and the United States I can tell you share a similar goal, and that is to not seeing the Iranians move toward the development of nuclear weapons," U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon told reporters.
"The degree of isolation really is unprecedented," he said, referring a Friday vote by the United Nations nuclear watchdog IAEA expressing concerns about Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. President Barack Obama discussed Iran's nuclear ambitions with Russian and Chinese leaders last week during an Asia-Pacific summit he hosted in Hawaii.
Donilon was speaking on the last day of Obama's nine-day Asia tour, which is ending with his participation in an East Asia Summit meeting in the Indonesian island of Bali.
On Friday, sources familiar with the matter said that the U.S. plans to sanction Iran's petrochemical industry, seeking to raise pressure on Iran after fresh allegations it may be pursuing nuclear weapons.
The sources said the U.S. wanted to send a strong signal after the IAEA issued a Nov. 8 report saying Iran appeared to have worked on designing an atomic bomb and may still be secretly carrying out related research.
Discussion of the new possible sanctions comes amid a renewed flurry of Israeli media speculation about the possibility of an Israeli military strike to try to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.
The U.S. suspects Iran may be using its civil nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has insisted its program is purely peaceful.