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Israel working to increase international pressure on Iran: PM

(Xinhua)

10:39, January 26, 2012

JERUSALEM, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday stressed the importance for the international community to tighten economic sanctions against Iran, though he doubted the measures' effect on the Islamic republic's nuclear program.

Speaking in front of the Knesset parliament, Netanyahu praised European leaders for their decision to further harden economic sanctions against Iran, including banning all oil contracts and freezing the country's central bank assets in Europe. The European Union adopted the new measures earlier this week.

"We are working to increase the international pressure on Iran, " Netanyahu said. However, he also added that the new sanctions may not deter Iran.

"Even though Iran has not halted its nuclear program, and we do not know whether the sanctions will be effective, this is definitely the right step," he said.

Last week, Netanyahu delivered a similar speech in front of the Knesset, urging the international community to take effective steps toward hindering Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran insists is only for civilian purposes.

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