sallai meridor 248 88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The world should launch a divestment campaign as was carried out against South Africa in the 1980s to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Israel's Ambassador to the US Sallai Meridor told The Jerusalem Post Thursday.
His comments came as Israeli officials expressed frustration that the world isn't acting quickly enough on Iran. In the latest sign of delay, reports indicate the UN Security Council won't draft a new sanctions resolution until September.
Meridor said that while the United States "gets the urgency" of the need to stop Iran, "we wish that other countries would be like America and show responsibility and determination.
When it came to the US, he said, "They're doing tremendous work, directly and indirectly. This is true for the administration. This is true for the Congress. This is true now for the American society. More and more states and more and more pension funds are considering divesting."
But, he said, "more should be done, obviously, by the rest of the world and hopefully America will be able to create through all these layers - from government to Congress to the states to the general public - an international [campaign] like that against South Africa."
In a separate bid at creating momentum for United Nations action on Iran, The Israel Project unveiled a petition on Thursday with more than 80,000 signatures calling on the UN to accelerate efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, the NGO said.
The pro-Israel advocacy group unveiled the petition along with letters of support from most of the presidential candidates at an event at the Capitol Thursday.
The candidates lined up in condemning Iran's nuclear efforts, with Republic candidate Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, declaring: "Iran is an intolerant, repressive regime that is developing nuclear weapons, supports terrorism and is located in a region that is vital to our national interests. I believe that radical Islamic jihadists and the spread of weapons of mass destruction represent the greatest threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union and, before that, Nazi Germany."
In a letter, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, a Democratic candidate, noted Iran's support for terrorism.
"We cannot permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons," she said. "We also must not let go unanswered its state sponsorship of terrorism. We must not stand silent in the face of brutal repression of women and minorities. And we must not tolerate threats to the existence of Israel."
Fellow Democratic contender and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said in a letter that allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons was "a risk we cannot take."
"To prevent this dangerous outcome," he said, "we need a comprehensive diplomatic strategy, including stronger action by the United Nations, to bring pressure to bear to reverse course."
Former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards said that "Iran's possession of nuclear weapons could also set off a regional nuclear arms race in one of the [most] unstable regions in the world, which directly threaten US interests."
Edwards said he would "take aggressive steps to resolve the situation and to protect the United States and our allies," outlining a program of engagement, increased sanctions, incentives and working directly with Russia and China, which have been reluctant to take as strong action as the US on the issue.
Two of the three declared Republican candidates who submitted statements said that "all options remain on the table" when dealing with Iran, while none of the five official Democratic candidates mentioned the possibility of using force.