Cameron Tells Jewish Community Leaders: let EU Iran sanctions do the Job

As the European Union agreed today to step up the pressure on Iran through another ubstantial package of sanctions, the Prime Minister David Cameron will tonight tell an influential gathering of the Jewish community that we need the courage to give these sanctions time to work while making clear that in the long term, if Iran does not address the concerns of the international community, nothing is off the table.

The Prime Minister who earlier this evening hosted a group of activists and charity workers marking the 70th Anniversary of the Council of Christians and Jews ( which included people of all faith like Muslims, will be addressing the annual dinner of the United Jewish Israel Appeal   Prime Minister Cameron will say that Iran was  flouting six United Nations resolutions.

Mr Cameron is among many world leaders who are sceptical of the Iranian regime’s claim that its nuclear programme is intended purely for civilian purposes, and expected to say tonight that such claim was ” not remotely credible.” The Prime minister will highlight Iran’s violent agenda citing its exporting terror and violence to Iraq, to Syria, to Gaza, to Lebanon and to many peace-loving countries across the world.

“Iran is not just a threat to Israel. It is a threat to the world,” Mr cameron will say .

He will warn against the calls that  nothing will work – and that we have to learn to live with a nuclear armed Iran. Mr Cameron is likely to say ” we don’t and we shouldn’t.But at the same time I also refuse to give in to those who say that the current policy is fatally flawed, and that we have no choice but military action.”

A negotiated settlement remains within Iran’s grasp for now, Mr Cameron is likely to say,  but until they change course, we have a strategy of ever tougher sanctions. Just today,

Britain has secured a further round of new sanctions through the EU Foreign Affairs Council. And these relentless sanctions are having an impact no-one expected a year ago.

Prime Minister Cameron will praise the EU moves saying they  have slowed the nuclear programme. Iranian oil exports have fallen by 45 per cent. That’s 1 million fewer barrels a day. And $8 billion in revenues lost every quarter. The Rial has plummeted – losing around half its value between May and September. Inflation is soaring – thought to be as much as 50 per cent. And the Iranian Regime has had to establish an economic austerity taskforce to manage the pressure they have brought on their own people.

“Most significantly, there are signs that the Iranian people are beginning to question the Regime’s strategy with even pro-regime groups protesting at the actions of the Government.

It’s mind boggling that the leaders of a nation so rich in oil have succeeded in turning their country into a banana republic desperately trying to put rockets into space while their people suffer, the PM is expected to say.

“The Iranian regime is under unprecedented pressure and faces an acute dilemma. They are leading their people to global isolation and an economic collapse. And they know it.

“They know too that there is a simple way to bring sanctions to an end – by giving the international community the confidence we need that they are not and will not develop a nuclear weapon.

Mr Cameron will reveal that he told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that now is not the time for Israel to resort to military action. Beyond the unpredictable dangers inherent in any conflict, the other reason is this: at the very moment when the Regime faces unprecedented pressure and the people are on the streets; and when Iran’s only real ally in Syria is losing his grip on power, a foreign military strike is exactly the chance the Regime would look for to unite his people against a foreign enemy. We shouldn’t give them that chance.

Mr cameron urges his Israeli counterpart and those concerned to have the ” courage to give these sanctions time to work.”

“But let me also say this. In the long term, if Iran makes the wrong choice, nothing is off the table. A nuclear armed Iran is a threat to Israel. And a threat to the world. And this country will work unwaveringly to prevent that from happening.”

The EU package targets the financing of the Iranian nuclear programme and ensures that Iran cannot circumvent existing sanctions in three key areas. Financially The EU has taken further steps to prohibit financial links with Iran. This includes: a financial cut off – prohibiting transactions with Iranian banks and financial institutions unless specifically authorised or exempt  like or example, for humanitarian purposes and for urgent needs in way similar to a UK sponsored policy which the UN used in dealing with sanctions on Iraq in the late 1990s. And and increasing government scrutiny of transactions; a full ban on the public provision of export credit insurance; and full designation of Central Bank of Iran except for channels for the provision of debt repayment and liquidity;

The second area which is trade. The EU is banning certain areas of trade altogether to make it harder for Iran to source the materials it needs to develop its nuclear programme. The bans cover an extension for key energy equipment, key naval equipment, graphite, raw or semi-finished metals, such as aluminium and steel, and software for integrating industrial processes. Arab sources said that they will help in this area since a great deal of Iran’s trade goes through the Gulf, especially the United Arab Emirates and Oman, both are very close allies of Britain

The third area are is Energy, where it hist Iran most given its dependence on Oil exports. The EU has taken steps to prevent the circumvention of the oil embargo and prevent Iran using its energy revenues to fund the nuclear programme. This includes a ban on the purchase, import and transport from Iran of natural gas, the construction of oil tankers for Iran, the flagging and classification of Iranian oil tankers and cargo vessels, and on the supply of vessels designed for the transport or storage of oil and petrochemical products. It also includes the designation of Iran’s key energy companies and their subsidiaries, as well as Iranian energy ministries.

While the Israelis are growing impatient, they lack the total military equipment to totally destroy all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Americans are not only denying them the neaded weapons, they are not willing to opena pandora’s box of terror in the region if they backed an Israeli attack on Iran. Such attack, they Israelis are unlikely to plan without an approval from Washington.