Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday asked New England officials to divest state pension funds from Iran, a step he said could pressure Iran into backing away from its nuclear ambitions.
"Iran is a radical regime and is susceptible to economic pressure. It is a regime that talks about imagining the world without America, without Israel," Netanyahu told Massachusetts state Treasurer Tim Cahill and other officials from New Hampshire and Rhode Island. "It is both morally necessary and prudent to take this action while there is time."
Netanyahu's comments came after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate who arranged the meeting for Netanyahu, issued a similar call during the Herzliya Conference run by the Institute for Policy and Strategy of the IDF Herzliya, urging sanctions "at least as severe" as those imposed on South Africa during its apartheid era.
Cahill said the state currently has no money directly invested in Iran, but that Netanyahu's comments would be "something we're going to take under advisement."