News / Middle East

UN Report Spurs Israeli Call for Tougher Sanctions Against Iran

An Israeli soldier role playing as a mock victim lies on the ground during a drill simulating a missile attack in Holon near Tel Aviv November 3, 2011.
An Israeli soldier role playing as a mock victim lies on the ground during a drill simulating a missile attack in Holon near Tel Aviv November 3, 2011.
Scott Bobb

Israeli leaders are urging the international community to stop Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons after a U.N. agency said Tehran's nuclear program was not just for peaceful forces. There is debate in Israel about a possible military attack against Iran, but many opinion leaders say that should be a last resort.

The Israeli reaction came one day after a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] that said there is credible information that Iran was working to develop nuclear weapons.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said the IAEA report makes clear where Iran is heading.

"Iran threatens not only the interests of the free world, but the values of the free world. And this is something that needs to be defended. And we expect the international community, the free world, to stop Iran and prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon," said Livni.

Iran postures, Israel prepares

Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only and that the U.N. report was based on lies.

A woman walks past anti-Israel posters depicting Israel's President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and a caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L-R) as she visits a war exhibition held by Iran's revolutionary guard, at Baharestan squa
A woman walks past anti-Israel posters depicting Israel's President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and a caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L-R) as she visits a war exhibition held by Iran's revolutionary guard, at Baharestan squa

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel radio Tuesday that tougher sanctions should be imposed. He said it appears the international community is at "the last opportunity to impose drastic, internationally coordinated sanctions that would force Iran to stop" its nuclear weapons program.

Barak indicated that military attacks on Iranian nuclear installations, however, should be the last option.

In the days before the U.N. report was published, there was a flurry of media speculation that Israel's government was considering a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Senior Iranian military officials warn that any attack against Iran will bring a severe response.

But Israeli President Shimon Peres said that such an attack was becoming more and more likely.

Focus on military option

Last week, the Israel military test-fired a ballistic missile. Israeli rescue and medical workers also held a drill near Tel Aviv to respond to a simulated foreign missile attack.

Media reports in Israel and Western countries said Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak were trying to convince a divided Cabinet of the need for a military strike against Iran. There reportedly was resistance, though, from many ministers and senior military officials.

Israeli analyst Yossi Melman said the benefits from any Israeli attack against Iran would not justify the repercussions, which could include Iranian missile attacks on Israel and possibly a regional conflict. But he said tougher economic sanctions are not likely to work.

"I believe that it's not going to change the reality. Iran would continue with its efforts to have nuclear weapons. The sanctions would not be tough enough, and diplomatic measures are going to be exhausted. And we are, once again, in the same place, arguing about the military option," said Melman.

Barak said a military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities remains an option, though the least desirable one. And he said that while Israel prefers an international response, the country is, in his words, responsible for its own safety.

IRAN NUCLEAR TIMELINE

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid