Netanyahu: International sanctions against Iran not working

On a visit to Cyprus, Israeli Prime Minister says Iran is ‘most irresponsible’ country in the world.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that sanctions against Iran had not yet worked, adding that Tehran’s nuclear pursuits made it the most “irresponsible” country in the world.

“Iran is the most irresponsible country in the world and it is breaking all the rules,” Netanyahu said during a one-day visit to Cyprus.

“The United States – and any other country – should be concerned because we have information of ongoing efforts and attempts by Iran to conduct terrorism in many parts of the world. Fortunately until now there has been no loss of life,” he said after talks with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias.

His remarks came a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated three new nuclear projects, in a show of defiance of international pressure for the country to abandon its program.

In Bangkok meanwhile, police said three Iranians linked to a series of blasts in the city had come to Thailand to target Israeli diplomats. Authorities are investigating possible connections with recent attacks on Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Iran was exaggerating the progress it had made in its nuclear program, in order to make the world believe it was too late to stop it.

“Yesterday’s show was really just a show, both for the Iranians themselves, to strengthen their spirits, and for the entire world,” Barak told Israel Radio. “They are boasting achievements that aren’t there yet. They are talking about a third and fourth generation of centrifuges. I think they still have a lot to do with the second generation, let alone with the third,” he said.

The world could not afford to ignore the considerable progress Iran had made and must intensify sanctions against Tehran, the minister said, stressing however that Iran had not yet reached the point of no return. “They are presenting a situation that is better and more advanced than they really are in, in order to create a feeling with all players that in fact the point of no return is already behind them, which is not the case,” he said.

Israel has been a leading voice in an international campaign to halt Tehran’s nuclear program. Like the West, Israel accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the charge.


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