Only crippling sanctions against Iran's central bank and its oil and gas industries will force Tehran to halt its nuclear drive, a senior Israeli minister said in remarks published on Tuesday.
According to the Maariv newspaper, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the only thing which would cause Iran's Islamic regime to sit up and listen was a series of "crippling sanctions."
His remarks were made ahead of the publication of a key report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is expected to provide fresh evidence of Iran's nuclear weapons drive.
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"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," the paper quoted him as saying on Monday.
"Crippling sanctions" meant targeting Iran’s central bank and its oil and gas industries, he said.
Only such a course of action would yield real results and show Tehran's Islamic rulers that continuing the nuclear race would endanger Iran’s future as well as their chances of continuing to govern, Lieberman said.
The new IAEA report is likely to be circulated among IAEA members on Tuesday or Wednesday, and will focus on Iran's alleged efforts towards putting radioactive material in a warhead and developing missiles, diplomats say.