U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) is looking for leverage against Iran, and wants to disable their economy. Kirk says Iran is within 18 months of developing nuclear weapons, and must be stopped. “This is necessary for the security of the United States, for the security of Saudi Arabia, and the security of the state of Israel,” he said Monday at a news conference in his Chicago office. Kirk wants to cut off the central bank of Iran, which would require significant global cooperation, but if successful, would make it impossible for Iran to clear payments for oil, and would plunge Iran into recession, Kirk said.
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“This is one of the steps which the administration has not yet taken that would bring real pain on the government of [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” Kirk urged this action last month too, at the time citing Iran’s alleged fomenting of a plot to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States by blowing up a restaurant in Washington. The plot was thwarted when the hit man hired to do the job was a government informant. Ninety-three senators, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), are signatories to this request; the administration has yet to decide what to do.