Iranians on Israel Radio want sanctions against regime

Tzahi Hanegbi revealed Iranian listeners to "Voice of Israel" support increased sanctions.

iranian woman 311 (photo credit: AP)
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 regime.
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 sanctions.”
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.