After failing to win support in Russia for tough sanctions against Iran, Israel turns to its closest ally, the United States, for a backup plan to curb Tehran’s enrichment program.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be travelling to Washington to share his concerns over Iran’s refusal to stop its nuclear activities.
Barak will meet several US officials during his five-day tour, including US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East ‘peace’ envoy George Mitchell.
He is also scheduled to meet the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York.
As part of a last-ditch effort to obstruct Iran’s nuclear program, Israel has sought to send high-ranking delegations to a number of countries, particularly Russia and China, to rally support for punitive measures against the Tehran government.
In Russia, Israeli efforts have achieved little with Kremlin officials declaring that it is much too soon to consider stringent measures against Iran.
This has not stopped Tel Aviv’s effort to call for international sanctions against Iran. On the contrary, it has prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go as far as demanding that the UN Security Council should be sidestepped if it cannot agree to more sanctions against Tehran.
“We must prohibit Iranian oil exports and imports to Iran of refined oil products. No other sanctions will be effective,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem (Al-Quds) at a meeting of delegates from the Jewish Agency, an organization that encourages Jewish immigration to Israel.
Such daring rhetoric by the Tel Aviv regime comes in light of the wide belief that Israel is in possession of over 200 nuclear warheads. Additionally, Israel has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is not a member of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Despite its refusal to join any international atomic regulatory agency, Israel has been the most vocal in calling for international sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its IAEA-monitored nuclear program.
“We have arrived at a point where the international community has to decide if it seriously plans to stop Iran’s nuclear program,” the Israeli premier added.
This comes as the UN nuclear watchdog released a new report on Tehran’s enrichment program, criticizing Iran for a range of issues, but verifying the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in the country at the same time.
Iran says that is a signatory of the NPT and, unlike Israel, neither believes in atomic weapons nor, as a matter of religious principle, does it intend to access such weapons of mass-destruction. Tehran has also repeatedly called for the elimination of all nuclear arms throughout the globe.