JERUSALEM (AP) — A powerful partner of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday sanctions and negotiations would not stop Iran from pursuing its disputed nuclear program.
Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman said North Korea’s nuclear test on Tuesday was an “obvious example” of diplomacy failing to curb a nuclear program.
Liberman told Army Radio on Wednesday that “anyone who thinks sanctions or negotiations will stop Iran is wrong.”
Iran, like North Korea, is under stiff sanctions and negotiations with the West over its nuclear program have stalled.
Liberman’s words echoed those of his No. 2 in Yisrael Beytenu, MK Yair Shamir, from a day earlier, who said Iran was watching how the world failed to react to North Korea’s nuclear tests.
“The nuclear test in North Korea … just emphasized that if the West will continue to look for compromise instead of looking for solutions, then those guys who are dealing with the West will take advantage of it,” Shamir told The Times of Israel. “Look at North Korea, they don’t give a sh*t. They’re doing what they want. And the Iranians will look at that as well.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu often hints about a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Liberman stepped down from his post two months ago after he was indicted for breach of trust in a fraud and money-laundering case. But he remains a powerful lawmaker and Netanyahu’s top political ally in the joint Likud-Beytenu list.
The Times of Israel contributed to this report.