iranian woman 311.
(photo credit: AP)
In the midst of a wave of international debate on increased sanctions against Iran, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) revealed Tuesday that Iranian listeners to Voice of Israel radio had unanimously said that they support increased sanctions against the Iranian regime.
On Monday night, Hanegbi spoke by telephone with Iranian citizens. Hanegbi visited the studio from which the Voice of Israel in Persian is broadcast and spoke with listeners who called in to the radio station from throughout Iran.
The Iranians spoke in Farsi, and the radio station’s manager, Menashe
Amir, translated back and forth to enable the dialogue between Hanegbi
and the callers.
The Israel Broadcasting Authority believes that millions of Iranians
regularly listen to Voice of Israel’s Farsi broadcasts, despite warnings
by the Iranian regime that anyone caught listening to foreign radio
stations will be immediately jailed.
According to Hanegbi, the listeners expressed unanimous support for
increased sanctions against the Iranian government, and even encouraged
Israel to pressure the West to expand the sanctions against the Teheran
One Iranian student who called from Teheran argued that the Jews have a
historical debt to the historical pre-Islamic Persian King Cyrus, who
liberated the Jews from exile and allowed them to return to the land of
Israel, then under Persian dominance.
“The State of Israel must support the Iranian nation in its struggle for
freedom,” declared the student.
Hanegbi answered that the hearts of all Israelis are with the Iranian
people, and that the horrifying pictures of Iranian security forces
massacring an antigovernment protester in the streets of Teheran last
year shocked millions of Israeli television viewers.
“Because of the shared history between the Jewish people and the Iranian
people, it is possible to explain the special ties that existed between
Israel and Iran prior to the rise to power of the ayatollahs. I am
certain that those relations will return,” Hanegbi told the student.
On Tuesday morning, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi
told members of Hanegbi’s committee that “the clocks are ticking for
Iran – and the most important one is the clock measuring nuclear
development. The internal Iranian clock is going slower, because the
regime effectively retained control while using extreme measures to
defeat its opposition.
There is also the international clock, at the center of which are the
Ashkenazi said that UN Security Council Resolution 1929 reinforced US
congressional and expected EU decisions to prohibit companies from doing
business with Iran, as well as from doing business with businesses that
have ties to Iran.
“The effect on banks and on the Iranian merchant fleet may impact a
decision by Iran to change policy, but it could also lead in the
opposite direction toward increased militancy,” Ashkenazi warned,
tempering his remarks by saying that he did not believe that the second
outcome was likely.