PM: Current sanctions won’t stop Iran’s nuclear program

Missile drill with US will be held in 2012, says Barak.

Netanyahu 311 (photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Netanyahu 311
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
As long as there aren’t real and effective sanctions against Iran’s petroleum industry and central bank, Iran’s nuclear program will not be stopped, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday.
Addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Netanyahu said that since the US left Iraq, Iran is quickly “filling the vacuum.” As a result of changes in the Middle East, Israel’s security problems are worsening, he explained.
The prime minister also discussed changes in the Middle East, saying the region is unstable and volatile.
The relationship between Israel and Egypt that existed under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will not return, Netanyahu said, and the new situation will effect Israel’s security.
He said the US may cut its financial support of Egypt if the peace treaty with Israel is broken.
In addition, Libyan weapons are entering Gaza through Sinai, which is becoming a platform for terrorism and Iranian intervention, Netanyahu said.
“The State of Israel must greatly strengthen its defense capabilities and its ability to attack immediately.
This costs a lot of money,” the prime minister said. “We cannot increase the IDF’s power without a strong economy.”
Israel and the United States will hold the “Austere Challenge” joint missile defense drill in the second half of 2012, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced Monday.
Barak said both parties had agreed to postpone the drill, and the delay would enable Israel and the US to better prepare for the joint maneuvers.
The drill had been scheduled for April and was supposed to see the deployment of thousands of US troops and various sophisticated US missile defense systems in Israel.
The drill was to include the simulation of various missile defense scenarios with the objective of creating a high level of interoperability so that, if needed, US missile defense systems would be able to deploy in Israel and work with local defense systems during a conflict.