The US administration is heading towards placing "paralyzing" sanctions on Iran, Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren said Tuesday. Speaking to Army Radio, Oren added that although it was "too early," the US had also not yet abandoned the military option.
"The Americans attribute the highest importance to the Iranian issue," he said during the interview. "The US, along with other countries, is preparing to impose paralyzing sanctions on [Iran], and preparations are happening even now."
Oren went on to reject claims that US President Barack Obama was trying to downgrade relations between Washington and Jerusalem, saying, "The man is very warm towards usâ€¦ I hope that during the next year he will also come [to Israel], and bring that [warmth] to the Israeli public."
Oren is in Jerusalem this week to participate in a conference with 140 other ambassadors and consul-generals.
On Monday night, meanwhile, a top US national security official said that the United States was reaching out to international partners in an effort to build support for a new round of sanctions against Iran's regime.
National Security Council chief of staff Denis McDonough told reporters the administration would revisit its options against Iran in the new year and was gauging the views of US friends and allies about "the next step in the process."
McDonough said both unilateral or United Nations sanctions were options.
Earlier in the day, Obama spoke about the flaring violence in Teheran.
He praised "the courage and the conviction of the Iranian people" while condemning Iran's Islamist government for attacking demonstrators with "the iron fist of brutality."