Livni: The world does not intend to ease sanctions on Iran

Chief Israeli negotiator says peace talks open door for Arab countries to cooperate with Israel against Iran.

October 4, 2013 11:10
2 minute read.
Tzippi Livni

Tzippi Livni 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The international community does not intend to ease sanctions on Iran, but to utilize them to achieve an agreement on Tehran's nuclear issue, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Friday.

Livni told Israel Radio that Jerusalem has warned the international community against the "false charm" of Iran's new president, adding that the underlying threat of a nuclear Iran still posed a problem for the entire world, and not just Israel.

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According to Livni, the resumption of direct talks with the Palestinians has allowed for other countries, including Arab countries, to join in cooperation on the Israeli camp regarding the Iranian issue.

The chief Israeli negotiator stressed that she has been protecting Israeli security and national interests in negotiations with the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) warned that Iran was seeking to engage in nuclear talks with world powers to ease sanctions on Tehran.

"Iran only wants to open dialogue on its nuclear program because its economy is in a terrible state and [Tehran] wants to reduce economic pressures and ease sanctions," he said in a statement.

"Iran's goal to obtain nuclear weapons - for military purposes - has not changed," Shalom said.

Shalom said that once Iran has an atomic bomb, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia would also want the bomb and the entire region would completely change.

Israel has been concerned that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent “charm offensive” has chipped away at Israel’s legitimacy for military action if Tehran crosses the red line Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu established at last year's UN General Assembly.

Netanyahu told the United Nations on Tuesday that Israel was prepared to resort to unilateral military action against Iran if it deems diplomacy a dead end.

The United States held out the possibility on Thursday of giving Iran some short-term sanctions relief in return for concrete steps to slow uranium enrichment and shed light on its nuclear program.

Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the lead US negotiator with Iran, also urged lawmakers to hold off imposing additional sanctions against Iran before Oct. 15-16 when six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - will meet Iranian officials to negotiate over Tehran's nuclear program.

Reuters and Michael Wilner contributed to this report.

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