Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said that Western sanctions on Iran's nuclear program were ineffective and must be hardened.
Speaking at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Netanyahu said: "The sanctions employed thus far are ineffective, they have no impact on the nuclear program. We need tough sanctions against the central bank and oil industry. These things are not happening yet and that is why it has no effect on the nuclear program."
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The prime minister also warned against Iran's growing infiltration into Iraq after the US withdrawal. "There's a lack of stability. The seats of power and defense against air raids and ground attacks must be strengthened."
Netanyahu at Knesset committee meeting (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Last week, Netanyahu told The Australian that sanctions were showing signs of working. "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," he said.
Netanyahu had discussed the Iranian issue with US President Barack Obama over the weekend, after which the Wall Street Journal reported that the US is worried that Israel will ignore warnings and mount an attack on Iran by itself.
'Too much Palestinian chatter'
At Monday's meeting, the prime minister also addressed negotiations with the Palestinians. He criticized "chatter" on the Palestinian side and confirmed that the sides had agreed on a document of understandings at the end of Saturday's talks.
"We agreed there would be no talk on what happened during the talks," he said. "But Erekat can't stop talking despite the fact that we kept our end of the bargain. We presented a document of 21 points on which there is wall-to-wall consensus in Israel."
He repeated his willingness to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and placed the blame on the Palestinian side. "I am ready to get into my car and travel to Ramallah at any given time. Even if it would cause a headache to my security guards, but Abu Mazen (Abbas) won't do it."
Addressing unrest in the Arab world, he said: "The caution we have taken has proved itself. There is inherent potential for explosion in the coming years."
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