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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Israel calls for 'crippling sanctions' against Iran - Netanyahu

RIA Novosti

15:32 23/09/2009 NEW YORK, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for toughening international pressure on Iran and using "crippling sanctions" regardless whether talks go ahead on Iran's nuclear program or not.

During an interview with TV channel ABC on Tuesday night, Netanyahu refused to comment on whether Israel would use military force against Iran.

"I think the best thing to do is to apply what I think [U.S.] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called 'crippling sanctions' on Iran," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu is in New York to participate in the 64th UN General Assembly, which brings together a total of 122 heads of state and government. The agenda includes such issues as climate change, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, human rights, the struggle against terrorism, and measures to promote social and economic development.

"I think there's a growing understanding in the major capitals of the world...that it's important as an international issue, an international concern to make sure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons," he said.

Iran has been under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, used in both electricity generation and weapons production. Tehran has repeatedly rejected the demand, insisting it is pursuing a purely civilian program. Several Western powers have called for harsher sanctions against Tehran if it does not agree to halt uranium enrichment.

"Because time is getting shorter, because Iran is moving ahead to develop nuclear weapons, the international community has to act in a much tougher way."


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