Israel’s UN ambassador says the prospects for imposing crippling sanctions on Iran are “grim” because Russia and China insist on diplomacy to solve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.
“The chances now seem grim regarding sanctions that will be crippling,” AFP quoted Gabriela Shalev as saying on Tuesday.
She said Russia and China, which both have a veto at the UN Security Council, “are still looking to the diplomatic track” and appear reluctant to back a new round of tough sanctions on Iran.
Shalev said if the 15-member council was unable to agree on crippling sanctions, then Israel “will look to the countries themselves” to impose their own bilateral sanctions on Iran.
On Monday, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom called on the UN Security Council to impose “crippling” sanctions on Iran.
Israel, which is the only player in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons, accuses Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program.
However, unlike Israel, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has repeatedly declared that its nuclear activities are within the framework of international regulations.
In addition, the International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities and has found no evidence of the diversion of nuclear material.