Inicio NOTICIAS Mofaz consults with US officials on stiffer Iran sanctions

Mofaz consults with US officials on stiffer Iran sanctions

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Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz consulted Wednesday with members of Congress on how to move forward with stiffer sanctions against Iran in the wake of another inconclusive meeting between world powers and Tehran.
An aide to Rep. Howard Berman, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the congressman’s meeting with Mofaz addressed “ways in which crippling sanctions can be taken to the next level.”
Berman and other members of the committee have been key in driving through sanctions against Iran, and Israel has been concerned that the talks with Iran would lead to less aggressive action from the international community to stop Tehran’s nuclear program.
Mofaz was expected to discuss Iran with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their meeting later Wednesday.
Mofaz, who recently brought his centrist Kadima party into the right-leaning governing coalition, said Tuesday that any military action against Iran — a path of last resort — should be led by the United States.
"The use of military power should be the last option, and I believe that this option should be led by the US and the Western countries," Mofaz, who is currently a minister-without-portfolio but has served as defense minister in previous governments, told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
He also said leaders should ask two questions before deciding to take such a step: “We should ask ourselves how much will we delay the Iranian program — how many months, how many years — and what will happen the day after in the region.”
Mofaz also told the Washington think tanks that Israel should try to move forward in the peace process, at least to try to reach an interim agreement.
The Obama administration is hoping that Mofaz’s more moderate positions toward making a deal will add momentum to a stagnating negotiating process now that his party is part of the coalition.
The theme was also one he raised with members of Congress, the Berman aide said.
Mofaz thanked Berman for all his support for funding for Iron Dome, the short-range defense system to shoot down rockets aimed for Israel, according to the aide. America has recently contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to help Israel speed up deployment of the systems.
“The ongoing destructive and indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza further demonstrates that Congress was right to secure additional funding for the deployment of Iron Dome missile defense batteries,” Berman said in a statement released after their meeting. “Iron Dome is a game changer, saving innocent lives and protecting Israelis.”

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