Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz arrived in Washington Monday to press senior US officials to lay out a tougher line on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.
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The time has come for US President Barack Obama to give Iran a “very clear ultimatum, very clear deadline combined with a very credible also military threat” Steinitz told a group of reporters Monday before planned meetings with US Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and other administration officials.
Steinitz said he would tell Geithner that Israel views the financial sanctions imposed on Iran by the Obama administration as “very serious and very effective and the Iranian economy is in bad shape already now.”
The finance minister said he would discuss with Geithner and other White House and State Department officials what Israel perceives as loopholes in sanctions and Iran’s efforts to subvert legal restrictions. He declined to provide examples.
Steinitz said he is encouraged by the sanctions that are crippling Iran’s economy, and said it appears that “for the first time maybe at least some Iranians” are questioning whether the nuclear program is “worth the cost.”