American- and European-imposed sanctions against Iran are effective and
important, but alone they are not “a big enough stick,” Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz warned on Wednesday.
In an interview with CNBC, Steinitz said
that he did not envy the Iranian finance minister, but emphasized that sanctions
had not changed Iran’s behavior or dampened its determination to produce nuclear
“You have to add something, and that something is a very strong
and valid military threat, or a very clear ultimatum or deadline,” Steinitz
“You have to choose a big enough stick, and to wave it wildly
enough in their face in order not to use it. The sanctions are a big stick, but
maybe not big enough yet.”
Steinitz said he was encouraged by US
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s statements during
Monday night’s final presidential election debate that they would consider all
options to prevent Iran from going nuclear.
The EU tightened sanctions
against Iran last week, prohibiting all transactions between European and
Iranian banks “unless authorized in advance under strict conditions with
exemptions for humanitarian needs.”
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley
Fischer also spoke to CNBC earlier this week, telling the American business news
network that while the Iranian economy would continue to suffer from sanctions,
the regime would “find a way to continue to keep economic life
Last month, Steinitz told Israel Radio that Iran’s economy was
edging toward collapse due to international sanctions.
“The sanctions on
Iran jumped a level in the past year,” Steinitz said at the time.
not collapsing, but it is on the verge of collapse. The loss of income from oil
is approaching $45 billion-$50b. by the year’s end.”