Netanyahu: Squeeze Iran with sanctions

Says military option should be left open; Lieberman: al-Qaida's plan is drug proliferation in the West.

September 10, 2007 20:57
1 minute read.
netanyahu good pic 298 ap

netanyahu good pic 298.8. (photo credit: AP [file])

"We cannot wait for them [Iran] to obtain nuclear weapons; we must prevent it now. This has to be the focus of all responsible countries," opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday. "The military option must stay on the table, but countries like the US and some in Europe must squeeze Iran with sanctions, voluntary sanctions - not through the UN," Netanyahu said at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's Seventh Annual Conference at IDC Herzliya. "The UN is paralyzed from launching effective sanctions. They can do a lot to bring economic pressure on the Iranian regime," he added. Netanyahu suggested to "focus on the 20 to 30 European countries that prop up the Iranian oil and gas sector." "We are involved in trying to get American state pensions to divest from these European companies," he said. "About eight states are in the process of divestment. Florida just passed a divestment bill. [California] Governor Schwarzenegger told me that he's going to get such a bill to his table. Withdrawing funds [from these companies] will give a crippling blow to the regime and its nuclear program." Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman, participating in the panel discussion entitled "Terrorism, Narcotics and International Crime," said drugs and the war on terrorism were connected. "There is a danger that al-Qaida will take up a new long-term tactic - inserting drugs into Western society and undermining our very social fabric," he said. "This could take generations, but we must not underestimate the power of such a tactic. This war on terror must be fought hand in hand with the war on drugs. Israel and the entire free world must place the war on drugs high on the national priority list. Decision makers should allocate more funds to target this phenomenon."

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