Battered Israel relieved to take back seat on Iran sanctions
While Israel had called for 'crippling' Iran sanctions, in the wake of its fatal Gaza flotilla raid officials knows they have little political capital to push for more aggressive action than the US has taken.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Barack Obama for securing a fourth round of Iran sanctions, even though many here say that the measures are not sufficient to prompt Tehran to change course.Skip to next paragraph
"It's an important first symbolic step,'' says Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the US and a member of a team of foreign policy advisers to Netanyahu. "It shows Iran and its supporters that most of the world is determined to oppose Iran's nuclear efforts, but a great deal more will be needed in order to make sanctions effective…. Obviously time is running out.''
Israel had called for "crippling" economic sanctions, including a ban on buying oil and gas from Iran. But in the wake of Israel's fatal Gaza flotilla raid, officials here seem resigned to the fact that there's little they can do to accelerate the gradualist approach of the US.
"Israel is much more enthusiastic than the international community'' on sanctions, says Meir Javedanfar, an Iran expert based in Tel Aviv. But "Israel can't part ways with the US. Israel had problems taking over one Turkish ship, and it infuriated the international community, which shows that the current Israeli government doesn't have the political capital to take Iran militarily, which is much more complex.''