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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More