Italy’s premier, Mario Monti, said on Thursday that stepped up European sanctions against Iran are proving effective.
Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Jerusalem, Monti said the sanctions were “inflicting pain” on Iran and were being rigorously applied and enforced.
Last week the EU expanded its sanctions against Iran to include financial, trade, energy and transport sectors. It imposed asset freezes and trade restrictions on additional companies, notably those in the oil and gas industry.
The West suspects that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. Israel has repeatedly hinted it might strike Iran's nuclear facilities. The West hopes sanctions will force Iran to back down before that would be necessary.
Monti said the Israeli approach toward the Iranian nuclear issue was “slightly different” but complementary to Europe’s.
"Israel's security is Europe's security," Monti said. "Threatening Israel is unacceptable, nor is the denial of the Holocaust."