Opposition leader and Kadima party head Tzipi Livni called for tougher sanctions
against Iran on Saturday, saying that it is the responsibility of the entire
world to stop Tehran’s quest for the bomb.
Livni’s statement came during
a meeting she and Kadima MK Nachman Shai held with Amir Abbas Fakhravar and
Saghar Erica Kasraie of the Confederation of Iranian Students in Tel
The two came as a delegation from the CIS, which describes itself
as a pro-Western independent student movement with more than 8,000 members in
countries across the world.
Upon meeting Livni, Fakhravar quipped that he
was happy to meet the head of the Israeli opposition, adding that in a democracy
like Israel, being in the opposition doesn’t mean jail and torture.
a different sort of torture,” Livni joked in response.
Livni, who was
presented with a green ribbon symbolizing the pro-democracy Green Movement,
expressed her belief that diplomatic relations should be between the peoples of
Fakhravar told Livni that the main goal of the
younger generation in Iran is to achieve democracy, and added that Israel “has
suffered a great deal to have a democracy, the only democracy in the Middle
Like Livni, Fakhravar also emphasized the importance of tougher
sanctions on Iran’s energy industry, aimed at stopping the Islamic Republic from
attaining a nuclear weapon.
The CIS describes its main objective as
working towards supporting pro-democracy, human rights and freedom in Iran, “the
constitutional foundations of a new free, secular and democratic
They also describe themselves as “the action arm of the Iranian
Freedom Institute, a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit,” a 501(c)(3)
establishment dedicated to education and research in the fields of human rights
Fakhravar, the CIS founder and president of the Iranian
Freedom Institute in Washington, DC, spent five years in Iranian prison for
participating in July 1999 student riots, and defected to the United States in
In addition to the meeting with Livni, Fakhravar and Kasraie have
planned to meet with other MKs, academics and think tanks.