As EU mulls more Iran sanctions, Israel warns time running out

Thursday, February 26, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

France, Germany and the UK have compiled a list of increased diplomatic and economic sanctions against Iran, and hope to get US President Barack Obama to join them in what they termed a strong common front against the Islamic Republic, reported London's Financial Times.

However, the list of new sanctions is not expected to be a major improvement over the current lackluster sanctions that have done little to dissuade Iran.

One European official told the newspaper that at this point they just hope stop Obama from significantly weakening global opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Meanwhile, outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday warned that there is not unlimited time to deal with the Iran nuclear crisis.

Speaking at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Barak said:

"Time is slipping through our fingers, and what is needed is a two-pronged course of action which includes ironclad, strenuous sanctions against the Iranian regime and a readiness to consider options in the event that these sanctions do not succeed."

The remark was seen as a swipe at Obama's previously stated intention to take the military option off the table, effectively allowing Iran to string the international community along for as long as it needs to build a nuclear bomb.

Barak's speech came a day after Iran announced that it had begun preliminary tests leading up to the activation of its first nuclear reactor in Bushehr.

Israel views Bushehr going online as a major step toward Iran achieving its nuclear aims.

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