There are mjore sanctions that need to be taken by the private sectors. We need a full cessation of trade with Iran.

Address by FM Tzipi Livni to the 7th International Conference of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya (11 Sept 2007):

Last year, in Lebanon, Israel needed to address the threat coming from Hizbullah – which is a terrorist organization and the long arm of Iran. Iran is the real threat, not only to the region but to the world…

Clearly the world cannot afford a nuclear Iran. The threat is clear. Two decisions have been adopted by the United Nations Security Council. Time is of the essence, and sanctions work. But it’s not enough, and we need to enhance the sanctions.  We need more sanctions.  We need sanctions not only by the United Nations Security Council, but more sanctions that need to be taken by the private sectors. We need a full cessation of trade with Iran. There are certain parameters; there are certain sanctions that clearly can make a change. The world knows it; the international community and the international leaders know it, but at the end of the day, the decision-making process takes time.

And there is another idea:  in order to make the sanctions more influential, there is also a need to get everybody on board. There is a need for consensus. But this process to get everybody on board led in the past – and I hope it won’t lead in the future – to compromises. Talking about Iran and the sanctions of the Security Council, the need to get Russia and China on board led to compromises on the nature of the sanctions. Right now there is an ongoing process in order to understand the ideas that Iran has placed on the table, and there is a need to enhance the sanctions and to make them more effective. The world knows it, but nobody is willing to take the risks. 

While we are talking about risks, while it’s clear here in Israel that this is the nature of the threat, and while world leaders are saying that this is the nature of the threat, they are willing to do so still willing to make compromises. Maybe sometimes it’s not comfortable to ask the private sector to take sanctions against Iran, and they are not willing to do so.

It is clear that this is not an Israeli problem. It is clear that it is the free world’s problem. It is clear that this is the problem of most of the neighbors of Iran, of the Gulf States. But yet more frustrating is the fact that, although clearly Iran is a threat to its neighbors, leaders in some Gulf States are not willing to speak out clearly against it, because we live in a neighborhood where it’s all about whether you beat the neighborhood bully of the or join him. Everybody is sitting on the fence watching the international community and looking for any hesitation coming from the international community.  The fear is that maybe the international community is going to fail and they will have to join Iran and not beat it.