Among the major topics of discussion at next week’s G8 summit in the central Italian college town of L’Aquila will be new sanctions against the Iranian government. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi predicted earlier in the week that such sanctions would pass.
But in an almost unfathomable change in directions from the nation that has generally spearheaded the pro-sanctions position, diplomats say that the United States is opposed to the new sanctions, which would punish oil companies that do business in Iran.
Advocates are seeking to punish Iran for its crackdown on protesters against last month’s disputed election, but US officials are reportedly concerned that sanctions on the basis of the election could actually harm the opposition’s position and might also keep them from negotiations on their nuclear program.
The Iranian government and the state media have repeatedly accused the opposition of being organized by foreign governments, and would likely spin the sanctions as an attempt by the international community to force their candidate of choice into office, despite investigations by the Guardian Council insisting no evidence of massive voter fraud exists.