US seeks to isolate Iran

Washington, September 30: US officials say the Obama Administration will try to isolate Iran if talks over the country’s nuclear ambitions break down.
Even though officials say they hope Iran will agree to open up its nuclear programme to international inspectors, officials said the administration is preparing to make it more difficult for Iranian companies to ship their goods and as well as keep goods from reaching Iran, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

“Towards the end of the year, we’ll be able to calculate how much progress” has been made in those talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said Monday. “If they continue to fail to answer the questions, then obviously there will be implications and consequences to that, as well.”

Of particular interest to the administration are insurance and reinsurance companies that underwrite the risk of such transactions. The administration is limited in unilaterally targeting Iran, mainly because they do not want to press for measures so severe that they would impact consensus among countries pressing the Iranian government to be a responsible member of the world community, officials told the Post.
Whatever steps are taken, officials said, the goal is to disrupt the Iranian economy across many sectors.

“The idea of targeting insurance and reinsurance is a good one,” David Gordon, a former State Department official now research director at Eurasia Group, a political risk and consulting firm, told the Post. “It is the only potential game-changer around. But I am not sure it will be enough to move the Iranians and do it in a timely fashion.”