Israel praised the EU on Monday for deciding to ratchet up sanctions on the Islamic Republic, saying this sent a strong message to Tehran that Europe was “not letting Iran off the hook” until it ceased its nuclear march.

“This is definitely an important step that sends the right and strong message to the Tehran regime,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday that the failure of the EU to send a strong message at this time would be similar to the West’s failure to stop Hitler in the 1930s.

The EU’s 27 foreign ministers agreed at their monthly meeting in Luxembourg to clamp further sanctions against Iran’s banking, shipping and industrial sectors, hoping this would draw Tehran into serious negotiations on its nuclear program.

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