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Liberman: Skeptical of Iran's intentions at talks

February 26, 2013 14:18

Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman calls powers to take action on Iran beyond sanctions; defends "Prisoner X" case.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 370 (R). (photo credit:REUTERS/Stringer)

As world powers gathered in Kazakhstan for the latest round of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman said he wished the P5+1 luck, but chose to remain skeptical over the outcome.

"We have no illusions about Iran's intentions to drag out the process and waste time," said Liberman, as he called for the six powers - the UK, US, Russia, China, France and Germany - to take "more practical steps" to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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"The international community must rely on its experience with North Korea and understand that sanctions alone are not enough," Liberman said.

On the subject of the "Prisoner X" affair, the former foreign minister said that the Israeli authorities had done nothing wrong. Citing an investigation by a Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee on Intelligence and Secret Services, which began last week, into the suicide in prison of the alleged Mossad agent and Australian national Ben Zygier, Liberman said that "no fault was found with those involved."

"Whether it was the rights given to the prisoner by law, before he committed suicide or anything else connected to the arrest of Ben Zygier - in every step of the way all of the relevant parts of the legal system at the most senior level were involved," Liberman stated at the start of a committee meeting Tuesday. "I can say unequivocally that people do not disappear in Israel. No one has his own form of justice."

Liberman also congratulated the IDF on successfully testing the Arrow 3 missile defense system.

"We proved once again that we have the ability to use our great human resources and our technological superiority," he said, adding that the successful test will significantly improve Israel's "active defense capabilities" and freedom to act in times of war."
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