Friday, January 27, 2012

Israel demands tougher Iran sanctions

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Source: Press TV

Following the EU-sponsored sanctions on Tehran, Tel Aviv has called for tougher sanctions against Iran's oil and banking sector in order to force the country into abandoning its peaceful nuclear program.

"We are determined to prevent Iran from turning nuclear,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on Friday.

The US, Israel and their allies have been accusing Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program, and have used the allegation to impose four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions and more unilateral measures against the Islamic Republic.

Iran has categorically refuted the US-led allegations regarding its nuclear program, saying that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

“Even the American president and opinion leaders have said that no option should be removed from the table and Iran should be blocked from turning nuclear," the Israeli official added.

Barak also added that "It seems to us to be urgent, because the Iranians are deliberately drifting into what we call an immunity zone where practically no surgical operation could block them."

Earlier this week Israeli President Shimon Peres hailed the EU move to impose an oil embargo on Iran, expressing hope that it would "really bear fruit" with regard to Tehran's nuclear program.

Foreign ministers of the European Union reached an agreement on January 23 to impose sanctions on Iran's oil imports and freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the sanctions were aimed at pressuring Iran to return to talks over the nuclear program.

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