JERUSALEM, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Paul Hirschson on Thursday told Xinhua that recent UN Security Council sanctions against the Iranian government are having a greater effect than previously assumed, "but it's not enough."
Among the tougher sanctions that Israel is seeking is to call on the European Union to impose a 50 percent cut in the volume of Iranian oil exports.
Hirschson said that the move would include a range of diplomatic, economic and commercial measures, but demurred when asked to detail the expected steps.
But despite the measures imposed on Iran thus far, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said on several occasions that they were having no effect on the nuclear enrichment program that Israel and many in the west believe hides a clandestine weaponization program.
Iran denies the charge, and says its program is meant for only peaceful aims.
In response to a query whether the array of sanctions might only serve to hurt the Iranian man-in-the-street, instead of weakening the government's hold on power, Hirschson contended that "people are being hurt -- but the government is being hurt far more than they were being hurt in the past."
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman this week told Israel Radio that the sanctions against the Tehran administration were succeeding in creating "more and more domestic resentment there. This will again build up in advance of elections for the (Iranian) presidency."
Within a year, Iranian oil exports dropped from 2.4 million barrels daily to 1 million, with a corresponding 40 billion U.S. dollars fall in oil revenues since the beginning of the year, according to the Haaretz daily.
As well, "Basic necessities like chicken, bread, meat and electricity have gone up sharply in price," a senior ministry source told the newspaper, who added that sharp concerns over dwindling revenues are causing banks and corporations around the world to rethink working in or with Iran.
In an open letter to the Israeli public Wednesday night upon his departure, Netanyahu promised to deliver a "tough response" in his UN speech on Thursday to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 's address to the General Assembly a day earlier.
In his address, Ahmadinejad predicted the "elimination" of Israel and said Iran was under a "continued threat" by " uncivilized Zionists."
"In the statements I will make before the representatives, they will hear our response. I am working every way in order that Iran does not have nuclear weaponry," the Israeli prime minister said.