Israeli PM calls for tougher sanctions against Iran

By RIA Novosti,

Tel Aviv : Israel’s prime minister urged the international community to impose tougher economic and political sanctions against Iran in order to neutralize the potential nuclear threat coming from the country.

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Ehud Olmert on Tuesday delivered the keynote address to more than 7,000 pro-Israel activists, diplomats and lawmakers at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2008 in Washington.

“Iran’s defiance of international resolutions and its continued tactics of deception and denial leave no doubt as to the urgent need for more drastic and robust measures. The Iranian threat must be stopped by all possible means,” the Israeli media quoted him as saying.

Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions after defying international demands to halt uranium enrichment, needed both in weapons production and electricity generation.

Tehran has dismissed Western suspicions that it is seeking to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. The Islamic Republic has also consistently maintained that it has the right to peaceful nuclear research.

Olmert called Iran “the world’s largest exporter of terrorism… motivated by utter contempt for the values represented by the free world and an uninhibited ambition to achieve military superiority and regional hegemony.”

He urged individual countries to stop business dealings with Iran, freeze financial transactions with the Islamic Republic, impose sanctions on imports to Iran of oil products, including gasoline, as well as exports from the country.

“Each and every country must understand that the long-term cost of a nuclear Iran greatly outweighs the short-term benefits of doing business with Iran,” he said.