Israel calls for tougher sanctions against Iran

Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, has warned that tougher sanctions need to be imposed on Iran despite the unprecedented oil embargo agreed by the European Union earlier this week.

Although he conceded that EU measures would add significant pressure to the Tehran regime, Barak told Israel Radio the embargo was unlikely to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. “In my opinion, we are not there yet,” he said.

His comments followed those made on Monday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the EU decision. Netanyahu warned party colleagues that the impact of the embargo was unknown but it was a step in the right direction, hinting that he believed further measures would be needed.

“Very strong and quick pressure on Iran is necessary,” he said. “Sanctions will have to be evaluated on the basis of results. As of today, Iran is continuing to produce nuclear weapons without hindrance.”

The remarks went further than the international consensus which is that Iran has not yet reached a stage where the production of nuclear weapons is possible.

The unprecedented EU decision means its 27-member states will stop importing Iranian oil by July, about the time when stiffer US sanctions will kick in. Some observers fear the measures will lead to an acceleration of Iranian moves towards nuclear capability.

Military intentions
Israel has long pressed for tougher sanctions, linked to threats of military action, to halt Iran’s nuclear development.

Speculation over Israel’s military intentions has intensified over recent weeks with the US urging the political and military establishment to hold back.

Martin Dempsey, the chairperson of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Israel last week to meet Netanyahu, Barak and the Israeli military chief of staff, Benny Gantz. He delivered a strong message of the potentially dire consequences of an Israeli strike.

Some Israeli observers believe the EU measures will tie Israel’s hands until at least July in order to give time for the tougher sanctions to have an impact.


Israel is determined to keep up the pressure, believing it faces an existential threat from the Tehran regime. On Sunday, Netanyahu told his cabinet that 70 years ago the Jewish people were unable to defend themselves against the Nazi genocide.

“The difference between 1942 and 2012 is not the absence of enemies, that same desire to destroy the Jewish people and the state that has arisen,” he said. “This desire exists and has not changed. The difference is our ability to defend ourselves and to do so with determination.

“The Jewish people and the government of Israel have the obligation and the right to prevent another annihilation of the Jewish people or attack on its state.” —

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday