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Extra sanctions aim to punish Iran and restrain Israel

Published on Sep 30, 2012 10:43 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The European Union and United States are set to toughen nuclear sanctions aiming to punish Iran while seeking to hold back Israel from a military strike, top officials said as the showdown enters a critical phase.

Western moves to pressure Iran have been made more urgent by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stern call for a "clear red line" against the Islamic state's nuclear drive, diplomats said.

Mr Netanyahu's conversation with US President Barack Obama on Friday reassured some envoys that Israel and the United States are more in tune over Iran.

But they highlighted lingering uncertainty about if and when Israel could launch unilateral action.

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