Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Source: Press TV
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has conceded that the current sanctions against Iran are not working just three days after saying Tehran is bending under the pressure of the embargoes.
"As long as there will not be effective sanctions on Iran's central bank and oil industry, there won't be any effect on its nuclear program," Netanyahu said during a discussion in the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs committee, Haaretz reported on Monday.
This is while earlier on Friday Netanyahu said the sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic are beginning to bite.
"For the first time, I see Iran wobble under the sanctions that have been adopted and especially under the threat of strong sanctions on their central bank," Netanyahu had told The Weekend Australian.
US, Israel and their allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have used this allegation as a pretext to convince the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran. The UN sanctions have also been bolstered by a series of unilateral sanctions.
On New Year's Eve, US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh unilateral economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution. The bill ultimately takes aim at Iran's oil revenue.
The European Union followed suit with its foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton threatening Tehran with continuing sanctions. “I expect Iran will realize that we will continue with sanctions. EU members are discussing further sanctions right now,” she said.
The EU foreign ministers are expected to hold a meeting later this month on January 23 to discuss the proposed embargo on Iran's oil exports.
The US and its allies have also made no secret of their willingness to go to greater lengths to curb Iran's nuclear program, repeatedly threatening the country with the "option" of a military strike.
US Senator Joe Lieberman said on Friday that Obama is prepared to issue the order for a military attack on Iran if the country does not waver under the pressure of the sanctions.
With the upcoming US presidential election, the Republican candidates have similarly heightened the anti-Iran rhetoric, in an apparent bid to win over the Zionist lobby.
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 of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities by international bodies have also failed to find any evidence of deviation in the country's nuclear program from civilian ends.
Iranian officials have also promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.