Danny Ayalon 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Saturday that the Iranian economy is very susceptible to sanctions. "Iran is a very vulnerable country and we can hurt it by imposing tough economic sanctions. We can use this option as a viable alternative to a military strike."The Western action has already hit Iran's rial currency, which
fell by 40 percent against the dollar in the past month. It recently recovered
20% of its value through intervention by Iran's Central Bank.
In late December, Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions are imposed on its crude-oil exports. Europe and the United States have stepped up sanctions on the Islamic republic in recent weeks in an attempt to force it to abandon its nuclear program.
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Speaking at a cultural conference in Beersheba, Ayalon added that Iran will be hurt further in
the event that Syria's Bashar Assad falls. "I do no think that Assad
will vanish in the near future. But it is clear that whoever replaces
him will be preferable to the current regime. Iran will be hurt very
much by the fall of Bashar Assad."
Turning to Egypt, Ayalon repeated the assessment that the peace treaty
between Israel and Egypt is not in danger, and that it is in the best
interest of the Islamists to maintain relations with the Jewish State.
The Muslim Brotherhood recently assured the United States that it will
not break the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty despite public statements to
"We have had other assurances from the party with regard to their
commitment not only to universal human rights, but to the international
obligations that the Government of Egypt has undertaken," US State
Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Thursday in a briefing.
Ayalon also discussed the Saudi hacker that infiltrated numerous Israeli
and published personal information and credit card numbers
online. "We will hit whoever hurts or tries to hurt Israel, including
within the cyber realm. We have to first discover whether this was the
work of an individual or whether it was an organized attack."
"The United States has officially stated that any attack on its computer
systems is a declaration of war and the country will respond
appropriately, including with missile fire if necessary," said Ayalon. "Israel should
learn from the US example."
The hacker published almost 11,000 new Israeli credit card numbers
and personal contact details to the public on Thursday, following the
release of around 15,000 numbers earlier this week.Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.