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Window for Diplomacy Shutting on Iran

Israeli ambassadors in Western countries have been instructed to inform high-ranking politicians that the window of opportunity for imposing effective sanctions on Iran is closing, as part of a renewed diplomatic offensive aimed at using new sanctions to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

The Foreign Ministry campaign, which began in mid-September, seeks to convince the United States, European Union member states and other Western countries to impose the sanctions immediately because Iran is continuing to develop its nuclear program.

“The significant progress that has taken place on all the components of the Iranian nuclear program should be emphasized, especially uranium enrichment,” said a classified cable sent to Israeli ambassadors in several dozen countries. “The Iranian program is military, and in light of International Atomic Energy Agency reports, there is an increased fear that the Iranians are developing a nuclear warhead for ballistic missiles.”

The ambassadors were asked to tell the equivalent of the foreign ministries and prime minister’s offices in the countries where they are serving that there isn’t much time left to stop the nuclear program through diplomatic means.

The sanctions campaign comes ahead of the planned November 8 release of an IAEA report, which is expected to reveal new details about the scope of Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA is reportedly preparing to bring proof that Iran is attempting to build a nuclear bomb.

Israel and the U.S. are planning to use the report in a worldwide campaign to push for isolating Iran. Sanctions suggested by Israeli representatives in recent talks with the U.S., France, Britain and Germany include banning contact with Iran’s central bank and banning the purchase of Iranian crude oil. Israeli officials also suggested imposing additional sanctions on Iranian airlines and ships.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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