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Ya'alon: Turkey is helping Iran bypass sanctions

Deputy Prime Minister says Turkey allowing Iran use of banks; adds Israel needs "credible military option" against Tehran.

February 2, 2012 12:49
1 minute read.
Iranian rial

Iranian rial 390. (photo credit: Reuters)

Turkey is helping Iran bypass the sanctions that have been imposed on it in recent months, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Thursday.

According to Ya'alon, who was in the United States last week for talks on Iran with senior officials from the Obama administration, Turkey was helping Iran circumvent the sanctions by allowing it to use its banking system.

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Ya'alon said that the Israeli government was committed to stopping Iran's nuclear program "in one way or another."

"We need a credible military option. The Iranians understand the West has capabilities but as long as the Iranians don't think that the West has the political stomach and determination to use it they will not stop," Ya'alon said. "Currently they don't think that the world is determined."

Ya'alon also said that Iran and Hezbollah were working with drug cartels in Mexico to learn how to smuggle materials into the US, a conduit that could one day be used to smuggle weapons into the country.

Ya'alon said that the "crippling sanctions" that are being imposed on Iran such as the ban on oil exports could succeed in posing a "clear dilemma" for the regime whether it wants to continue its nuclear program and risk the survival of the Islamic regime or stop and open in dialogue with the West.

Ya'alon said that the West still does not fully understand the severity of the nuclear threat posed by Iran. "America is the larger Satan," he said.

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