x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Israel urges US to tighten sanctions

The Israeli defence minister has urged his US counterpart to keep all options open in dealings with Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends a meeting of his Kadima party  yesterday.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends a meeting of his Kadima party yesterday.

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, has urged his US counterpart Robert Gates to keep all options open in dealing with Iran's nuclear programme, his ministry said today. "A policy that consists of keeping all options on the table must be maintained," Mr Barak told the US defence secretary during a meeting in Washington on yesterday, the ministry said in a statement. "Iran's plans pose a threat to regional and global stability. We insist that it is vital to continue tightening the economic and financial sanctions imposed on the Iranians."

Yesterday's meeting came amid a continuing diplomatic impasse with Iran over its nuclear drive and just days after Tehran announced that its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz has now expanded to 6,000 centrifuges. It also came after the United States on July 19 took the unprecedented step of sending a top diplomat to meet Iran's chief negotiator at talks in Geneva aimed at resolving the standoff.

Washington also indicated it was considering sending diplomatic personnel to Tehran to open a US interests section there. *AFP