Jerusalem: The global campaign of imposing
sanctions against Iran has so far failed to halt Tehran`s
controversial nuclear drive, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said Tuesday.
"The sanctions are painful, hard.. but will this bring
about a halt or a retreat in the Iranian nuclear programme
Until now, it has not happened," Netanyahu told reporters in
He said the Iranian regime is struggling financially but
has strengthened its political grip following the recent
"The regime strengthened its grip in the recent elections,
despite the sanctions," he said of the parliamentary elections
which took place in Iran in early March.
"It has strengthened its political grip, it is struggling
financially and it still hasn`t turned back by even one
millimetre from its nuclear programme.
"Will these difficulties cause the Iranian regime to stop
its nuclear programme - Only time will tell. I can`t tell you
if it will happen. I know there is hardship but there still
hasn`t been a change."
Israel has said frequently it is keeping all options open
for responding to Iran`s nuclear programme, which it says is
aimed at securing nuclear weapons, posing an existential
threat to the Jewish state.
Although the United States and much of the West also
believe Iran is seeking a militarised nuclear capability, they
have called for time to allow biting sanctions to take effect.
So far, the UN Security Council has imposed four sets of
sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear activities, while the US
and Europe have also imposed their own raft of unilateral
Iran has consistently denied that its nuclear programme is
aimed at making atomic weapons.
But yesterday it said it would not be swayed from its
nuclear "path" by sanctions, a week before it is due to hold
key talks with world powers over the controversial drive.
Israel, the sole if undeclared nuclear power in the Middle
East, and the United States have both threatened military
action against Iran`s nuclear facilities if diplomacy and
sanctions fail to curb the Islamic Republic`s nuclear