Israeli Foreign Ministry Says Sanctions Hitting Iran Hard, Calls for Another Round or Measures
A new Israeli government report published in local media on Thursday concludes that international sanctions are hitting Iran hard and called for another round, adding a new wrinkle to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that tougher action is needed to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.
The Foreign Ministry report — which surfaced on the same day Netanyahu made his case before the U.N. General Assembly — adds to the cacophony of voices coming out of Israel over the showdown with Iran.
The prime minister argues that an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities may be the only answer to what he calls a fanatical and intransigent Iranian leadership. President Shimon Peres and others want to give punishing measures more time to persuade the Iranians to enter negotiations.
Four rounds of U.N. sanctions have already been placed on Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
Netanyahu has acknowledged that sanctions against Iran are biting but says they have not deterred Tehran from abandoning its nuclear program. He has instead urged the U.S. to draw “red lines” that would make clear which conditions would provoke an American strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities — a demand that Washington has rejected.
Netanyahu reiterated his position on the global stage at the U.N. on Thursday. “For over seven years the international community has tried sanctions with Iran, under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date,” Netanyahu said. “It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth, sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program either.”