Just weeks after the late Israeli shipping tycoon Sami Ofer was implicated by
the US State Department for shipping ties with Iran, the cabinet decided on
Sunday to expand its economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
State Department’s blacklisting of The Ofer Brothers Group for selling an oil
tanker to Iran embarrassed the government, which for years has led calls for
stricter international sanctions against the country.
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decision, according to a government statement, “includes a series of
administrative and regulatory measures that will place Israel at the
international forefront regarding the imposition of sanctions on
These steps will be advanced in the coming days by the various
Among the sanctions is to restrict state contact
with companies that trade with Iran, the statement said.
Work on drawing
up these sanctions has reportedly been underway for months, long before the Ofer
scandal broke in late May.
A new national directorate will be established
to oversee these sanctions. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet
that the committee’s recommendations were “an important step in the struggle
against Iran’s nuclear program. These recommendations ensure that Israel will
stand alongside other countries at the forefront of sanctions against Iran, in
order to cause the Iranian regime to abandon its plans to develop nuclear