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Clinton: Iran morphing into military dictatorship

October 27, 2011 16:13

Secretary of State says US unsure who controls Iran, has "strong case" on assassination plot, links Quds Force to Saudi killing in Karachi.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton Blasts Gadaffi 311 R. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Iran is morphing into a military dictatorship, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said in a Thursday interview with BBC Persian.

"It’s been a little confusing because we’re not quite sure who makes decisions anymore inside of Iran," Clinton said.

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"There is a lot of evidence," to support allegations of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, Clinton said, citing: The confession of Manssor Arbabsiar, the 56-year-old Iranian American held in custody for the plot, information from the supposed Mexican gang member that the Arbabsiar tried to hire to carry out the assassination, phone records between the two and overseas money wires traceable to the Quds Force in Iran.

The Quds Force is a shadowy subset of the powerful Revolutionary Guard in Iran charged with "exporting" the Islamic revolution beyond Iran's borders.

Addressing the bizarre nature of "what seems like the most absurd" plot, Clinton pointed to "a pattern of increasingly reckless behavior by the Quds Force over the past years," including the use of proxy terrorist groups like Hezbollah.

Clinton also said there was "reason to believe" that the Quds Force was involved in the assassination of Saudi security official Hassan al-Qahtani in Karachi, Pakistan on May 16.

While the problems with Iran are immense, nuclear negotiations are not off the table, Clinton said. 

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