From my point of view and that of the State of Israel, sanctions should have been imposed long ago.

Interview with FM Tzipi Livni, broadcast on Israel Radio – 19 Sep 2006

Q: What was your impression of the position of the international community regarding Iran and what do you expect to happen in the next day or two?

FM Livni: The fact is that we are now in the month of September, and I feel that we should already be after the imposition of sanctions. The UN Security Council adopted a decision and there was a very clear package to which the Iranians must answer yes or no. They have not done this and are attempting to gain time. In my opinion every day that passes is a failure. Time here is working against us and against the international community, since we are not speaking only of Israel’s interests. From my point of view and that of the State of Israel, sanctions should have been imposed long ago. Certainly they should be imposed now and I strongly hope that the international community will show determination.

Naturally when I say the international community it should be clear that there are different players. Some of them understand the threat and want to act to prevent it and some say they understand the threat but are not doing enough to prevent it.

Q: So, in conclusion how do you evaluate the chance that we will actually see the type of sanctions we want to see imposed?

FM Livni: I really do not know, beyond to say that everyone I meet with makes it clear that the world cannot allow itself a nuclear Iran. Unfortunately matters are being handled more slowly than necessary. I believe strongly in the commitment of some of the countries to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, but I can not estimate this week how and when this will to take place. This is part of our work during the course of this week – but not only ours, because Iran is not only Israel’s problem, and I think that this is understood.

CNN Interview with FM Tzipi Livni – 17 Sep 2006

BLITZER: How much time do you believe the international community has before Iran crosses into an area of no return, in effect has a nuclear bomb?
LIVNI: The crucial moment is not the day of the bomb. The crucial moment is the day in which Iran will master the enrichment, the knowledge of enrichment.
BLITZER: And how long is that?
LIVNI: A few months from now.
BLITZER: Six months?
LIVNI: No, I don’t know for sure, because it takes time…
BLITZER: Because other Israelis have said that would be the point of no return.
LIVNI: I don’t want to use the words "point of no return," because the Iranians are using it against the international community. They are trying to send a message that it’s too late; you can stop your attempts because it’s too late.
It’s not too late. They have a few more months. And it is crucial because this is in the interests of the international community. The world cannot afford a nuclear Iran. It’s not only a threat to Israel. The recent understanding, also, of moderate Arab states is that Iran is a threat to the region. And I believe that this is time for sanctions.
BLITZER: Is this the biggest threat facing Israel?
LIVNI: Unfortunately, even though Israel was established about 60 years ago, it is still fighting for its existence. We just saw what the threats from Hizbullah, which is the long arm, the proxy of Iran in the region, and we have the Hamas and the terrorist organizations, and the global terrorism, and the Palestinians, and Iran. So should I choose between the threats? I don’t think so.