Danny Ayalon 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The European Union’s decision in principle last week to impose an embargo on
Iranian oil unless it halts its nuclear development has Tehran in a panic,
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Saturday.
“It is possible to
stop Iran through diplomatic isolation, delegitimization of the regime and
crippling economic sanctions,” Ayalon said during a speech in
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Those steps, Ayalon said, would lead either to a change in
thinking among the country’s ruling ayatollahs, who are concerned about their
political survival, or to a change among the Iranian people, who would realize
that they would have strong Western support if they again opted to oppose the
current regime, as they did during massive protests over elections there in
Ayalon said the effect of stiffer economic sanctions could be
measured in a matter of weeks. EU leaders agreed in principle
on Wednesday to impose an embargo on
Iranian oil, but still have to agree when the embargo will begin. An
announcement is due at the end of the month.
Referring to the likelihood
of such an embargo, Ayalon said there was no risk of a steep rise in oil prices,
“since the other oil-exporting countries can make up for the loss by increasing
Ayalon said the fall of Syrian President Bashar
Assad’s regime was important for breaking the “axis of evil” with Iran. At the
same time, he was not optimistic that the fall of Assad, which he said would be
good for Syria and the region, was in the immediate offing.
survive for a long period and continue the terror against his people,” he
predicted, adding that the Arab League monitors sent there recently have
provided the beleaguered Syrian leader with a “security blanket.”