Israel is calling for tighter sanctions against Iran, openly criticizing the U.S. administration for a lack of stricter sanctions.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, have both called for more sanctions against Iran. According to UPI Netanyahu has contradicted the position he took last week when he praised current sanctions, now saying existing sanctions are not effective enough to deter Iran from proceeding with its nuclear program.
Speaking on Monday Netanyahu said "As long as there will not be effective sanctions on Iran's central bank and oil industry, there won't be any effect on its nuclear program."
This followed a statement by Yaalon on Sunday when he told Israeli radio he was disappointed that the U.S. had not imposed stricter sanctions. TheFTreported Yaalon said “In the US administration there is hesitation for fear of oil prices rising this year, out of election-year considerations. In that regard, this is certainly a disappointment, for now.” However he was keen to praise France and Britain for “taking a very firm stand and understand sanctions must be imposed immediately”.
The European countries are discussing imposing sanctions directly against oil imports whilst the U.S. sanctions are concentrated on banking and financial transactions, rather than directly targeting oil exports. Press TV reported that Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also called for tighter sanctions, saying "Sanctions must be tightened, the sanctions are already burdening the Iranians and they should be tightened further. And of course the world and the Americans should keep, that the Iranians will seriously understand that, all options are on the table. This will surely make them think twice."
Iran has already sent a warning to neighboring Gulf nations that they will be held responsible if they provide oil to make up the deficit that sanctions against Iran will result in. Iran is already feeling the bite of sanctions, with rising prices and a devalued rial. However, sanctions will be felt by ordinary Iranians rather the the leaders and Mullahs, which could inevitably lead to more support for the Iranian regime, with hostility directed outwards towards those responsible for imposing sanctions.