Business, Finance & Economics

Israeli PM calls for tougher sanctions on Iran


Israelis wave flags as helicopters transporting Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and his family prepare to land at their home town of Mitzpe Hila following a landmark deal with Hamas which freed Gilad after five years of captivity, on October 18, 2011.



Israel’s Prime Minister called on the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada to impose stronger sanctions on Iran, in hopes of limiting its nuclear ambitions, Reuters reported.

"Iran is developing nuclear weapons. If anyone had any doubts, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) report certainly dispelled them," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Reuters reported. "It is important to impose sanctions, tough sanctions, on this regime - even tougher than those that have been imposed over the past few days.”

Netanyahu referred to the United Nations’s IAEA report, which showed Iran may possibly be working on designing a nuclear bomb.

Read more at GlobalPost: UK cuts ties with Iranian banks, US to slap the country with new sanctions

On Monday, the UK was the first to impose new sanctions on Iran, cutting ties with all Iranian banks, the first time in history Britain will do absolutely no business with a country. The US followed suit, although all American companies are already prohibited from doing business Iran.
Now sanctions have been added against Iran’s petrochemical industry.

Canada also banned the use of all exports from Iran’s petrochemical, oil and gas industry, along with banning any transactions with the country. Analysts told Reuters these steps may raise pressure on Tehran but are unlikely to halt its nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shot back on the US’s latest sanctions, repeating his denial of a new nuclear program and insisting its not Tehran’s job to disprove allegations made by the IAEA, the Associated Press reported. He also noted that if Iran decides to build nuclear weapons they won’t do so in secret.

"They (West) tells us, you should prove you don't have atomic bombs. How can something that doesn't exist be proved? It's nonexistent. How can we prove it?" said Ahmadinejad, the AP reported. "The one who levels the accusations must prove (their) claims. You must prove that someone is guilty.”

Read more at GlobalPost: UN nuclear agency wants to send mission to Iran

Ahmadinejad also said Iran would treat any country that freezes its assets as a “thief,” the AP reported. The US, Britain and Canada may possibly freeze assets belonging to Iran’s central bank, along with the new sanctions already imposed.

Iran’s parliament was also angered by the new sanctions, and voted on Wednesday to review relations with Britain, Reuters reported.

"Britain's government once again showed a depth of hatred and enmity towards the Islamic Republic system worse than that of the devil and it took another step towards being an enemy ... by announcing sanctions on the central bank," said a statement signed by 228 lawmakers and read out in parliament, Reuters reported.