JERUSALEM, Israel - On the same day that Iran announced plans to build its third uranium enrichment plant, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his call for "crippling sanctions" against the Islamic Republic, in part by cutting off refined petroleum exports.
In November, Iran approved construction of 10 additional enrichment facilities to supplement the Natanz and Qom plants.
Netanyahu told ABC that stopping Iran from importing refined petroleum would impair its refining capability and "bring this regime to a halt."
"We have a lot less time with each day that passes, and the crucial thing is to use the time available for forceful international action led by the United States," Netanyahu said.
"If a community of concerned nations, led by the United States, is seriously determined to stop it, this can be stopped," Netanyahu told ABC.
Revolutionary Guards to Terror List
In a related matter, a broad coalition of leading European politicians and academics called on the EU to add Iran's Revolutionary Guards to its terror list.
"By targeting the Revolutionary Guards, Europe can lead the way with 'smart' sanctions that cripple the Iranian energy sector - the lifeblood of the men who rule Iran - and in doing so, support the Iranian reformers against a brutal and illegitimate regime," Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
"Banning trade with the Guards' leaders and front companies, which are such dominant players in Iran's energy sector, would weaken the Guard and undermine its primary source of wealth and influence," Dubowitz said.
"It would also send 'a shot across the bow' to Iran's European energy partners, which are literally fueling the armored vehicles and motorcycles used to brutally repress those standing for freedom on the streets of Tehran," he said.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that Iran has been sending representatives abroad to convince members of the U.N. Security Council to vote against a fourth round of sanctions.
According to the report, Iranian officials will discuss a nuclear fuel swap in which Iran would allegedly exchange the bulk of its low enriched uranium for higher enriched fuel to use in its research reactor for the production of medical isotopes.
"In the upcoming 10 days, the Islamic Republic's delegations will travel to the capitals of Russia, China, Lebanon and Uganda to pursue talks," said Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, according to The Washington Post.
The report also said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will travel to Uganda on Friday for an official two-day visit, where he will offer his country's assistance in building an oil refinery.