Maariv: Israel wants US to apply ‘Cuban model’ to Iran
Eli Bardenstein, Maariv, March 4 2010 [page 6 | Hebrew original here]
Israel is concerned that the UN Security Council decision on intensifying sanctions against Iran will be postponed, and the Foreign Ministry is already taking steps to prepare an alternative, based on the model of the sanctions imposed by the US administration on Cuba. This refers to imposing restrictions on international companies that have trade ties with Iran, who would not be able to trade with the US and companies in the US.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon will leave next week for Washington, and in his meetings with administration officials, he will raise the matter with the intent of reaching an understanding between Israel and the US. Government officials say that the plan is to work in cooperation with the US administration. If indeed it becomes clear that it will be impossible to impose harsh sanctions by means of the UN Security Council, the idea is that urgent steps will be taken against Iran, similar to those that the White House imposed on Cuba.After his meeting with the foreign minister of New Zealand on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman related to the subject and said: “There is no doubt that the main obstacle to world peace is Iran and we are concerned about developments in the international community. The meaning of recent talks in the international arena is basically that UN Security Council resolutions will be postponed to a later stage, with no clear understanding as to when and where they will be made.”
Lieberman also said: “Israel must change its policy toward Iran. We must ask the US to adopt toward Iran the model of embargo on Cuba, which proved to be effective, and which is strong enough to choke Iran and bring down the regime.” Lieberman said that broad consent was important, but that ultimately, what was more important was to stop the Iranian nuclear program and that by means of the Cuban model, the US could do this on its own.
The sanctions against Cuba were anchored in legislation and they include a comprehensive economic embargo, along with sanctions against foreign companies in Cuba and not letting them trade with the American market, a ban on letting in top company officials into the US, and a ban on ships docking in the US. This siege, which has been imposed on Cuba for decades, badly hit the Cuban economy, stopped the country’s development and forced it to remain far behind Western countries. The embargo was imposed in 1960 and stepped up in 1962 in wake of the missile crisis […]At this time the US Congress is working on legislation to approve further sanctions against international companies that operate in Iran. Israel intends to enlist parliamentarians in other countries to enact similar legislation, to intensify the pressure on Iran.
“We are giving this more time, but are preparing alternative plans in the event that these fail,” says a government official in Jerusalem. “Israel intends to work in coordination with the US administration. Because the Americans still hope to get a resolution passed on intensifying sanctions in the UN Security Council, we are waiting, too. In tandem, we will try to persuade the Americans to support the plan, in case the resolution is not passed.”