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svgadminsvgNovember 8, 2011svgNews

Lieberman: Only ‘Crippling Sanctions’ Will Stop Iran

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday only “crippling sanctions” against Iran’s central bank and gas industries would halt Tehran’s nuclear program.

Lieberman’s remarks were made ahead of the publication of a key report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in which the UN nuclear watchdog said Iran was on the verge of being able to produce nuclear weapons – and cited intelligence reports the Islamic Republic was seeking to do so.

“If, after the IAEA report comes out, the United States does not lead an initiative of crippling sanctions against Iran, this will mean that the United States and the West have accepted a nuclear Iran,” Lieberman said.

According to Lieberman “crippling sanctions” meant targeting Iran’s central bank and its oil and gas industries.

Lieberman’s comments come on the heels of a tempest in Israel’s press over alleged plans to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, which sought to exploit leaks regarding internal debates in Israel’s cabinet over what course to follow vis-a-vis Iran.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, believed to be a proponent of striking Iran while the iron is hot, said Wednesday that Israelis are far too concerned with potential Iranian counter-strikes to an attack on its nuclear facilities – and have blown the repercussions, and Iran’s military efficacy, out of proportion.

The new IAEA report – focused on Iran’s alleged efforts towards putting radioactive material in a warhead and developing missiles – is currently being circulated among UN members. It is expected to serve as ammunition for Washington’s push for harsher sanctions on Iran.

Thus far both China and Russia have used their veto power as permanent members of the UN Security Council to protect Iran from universal sanctions imposed by the world body.

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