Skip to main content

Israel defense minister calls for tighter Iran sanctions

By the CNN Wire Staff
February 18, 2012 -- Updated 1804 GMT (0204 HKT)
Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak said sanctions would force Iran to come to the negotiating table.
Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak said sanctions would force Iran to come to the negotiating table.
  • On a visit to Japan, Ehud Barak calls for more punitive measures against Iran
  • The United States and Europe have recently bolstered sanctions
  • Tensions between Israel and its arch foe have escalated in recent weeks
  • Iran says its nuclear is strictly for civilian purposes

Tokyo (CNN) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called Saturday for even tougher sanctions on Iran to force the Islamic republic to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

"I think there is consensus now in most of the capitals of the world that Iran should not be allowed to turn into a military nuclear power," Barak told reporters in Tokyo.

"There is a consensus at least in the West and North America that no option should be removed off the table in regard to dealing with the threat. We feel the same," he said. "We feel it is still a time for even more tight, ratcheted up sanctions against Iran."

He added that accelerating the pace of sanctions would force Iran to consider the consequences of isolation and come to the negotiating table.

Iran is ready to resume nuclear talks
Dempsey on a pre-emptive strike on Iran

Barak spoke after meetings with Prime Minister Noda and other Japanese officials.

The United States and the European Union bolstered sanctions against Iran after a November report by the International Atomic Energy Agency that said Iran could be developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has insisted its program is strictly for civilian energy purposes.

Tensions have spiked in recent days with speculation of a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Iran to stop its nuclear progress.

Israel has also blamed Tehran for the attacks on Israeli targets in India, Georgia and Thailand.

Part of complete coverage on
Iran: Mounting tensions
April 13, 2012 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Two months ago, Emad Ghavidel turned on the television in Tehran and saw graphic footage of an injured Syrian child crying out in pain.
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
Iran's biggest customers are responding to increasing pressure to cut imports from Tehran.
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 2244 GMT (0644 HKT)
Faced with mounting pressure from world powers over its controversial nuclear program, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA says this country "is ready to re-engage with (the) IAEA."
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 2152 GMT (0552 HKT)
Republican presidential hopefuls and U.S. President Barack Obama trade barbs over Iran.
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Why is the international community suspicious of Iran's nuclear program? CNN's Hala Gorani reports.
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 2205 GMT (0605 HKT)
President Barack Obama's rebuke of Republicans who are "beating the drums of war" for military action against Iran should also be directed at Israel, Asher Kaufman says.
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 1751 GMT (0151 HKT)
Opinion: The only way war with Iran may be avoided is if the country believes an attack from the West is a real possibility, Frida Ghitis says.
March 19, 2012 -- Updated 1330 GMT (2130 HKT)
Iran's controversial nuclear program began more than 50 years ago with aid from the West.
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 1639 GMT (0039 HKT)
(file photo) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has criticized Barack Obama's threat to impose more sanctions on Iran.
Recent remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama that he is not thinking of military action against Iran are positive, according to Iran's supreme leader, Iran's state-run Press TV reported.
March 5, 2012 -- Updated 2231 GMT (0631 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance reports U.N. inspectors have "credible information" that Iran may be developing a nuclear device.
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 1931 GMT (0331 HKT)
LZ Granderson looks at the effect of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his nuclear weapons "game."
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
A threatened Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program carries enormous risks for the Jewish state, including international isolation, retaliation at home and abroad, and steep economic costs.
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 2036 GMT (0436 HKT)
Erin Burnett breaks down the mixed messages between Israel and the U.S. on Iran.
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 1834 GMT (0234 HKT)
Israeli President Shimon Peres discusses his concerns about Iran.