Key points of US-Iran tensions

AP News
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Posted: Jan 09, 2012 3:31 PM
Key points of US-Iran tensions

Some key points of tensions between Iran and the U.S. in recent years:

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SANCTIONS: Washington has led international efforts to boost sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, which the West and allies fear could lead to an atomic weapons program. Iran says it seeks reactors for energy and research only.

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GULF THREATS: Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormouz, the route for nearly one-sixth the world's oil, in retaliation for new sanctions. Iran also has warned Washington not to return the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to the Gulf. The U.S. has said it would strongly oppose any shipping blockade and has dismissed threats about warship deployments in the region.

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SAUDI PLOT: U.S. authorities last year alleged agents linked to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard were involved in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington. It has charged a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen and an Iranian described as a member of an elite Revolutionary Guard unit, who is still at large. Iran denies any links to the plot.

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DETAINED AMERICANS: Iran has detained several Americans on spy-related charges, including freelance journalist Roxana Saberi as well as three U.S. citizens arrested along the Iraqi border in 2009. All were later freed and deny the allegations.