Last updated: 6 February, 2012

Israeli FM discusses Iran in Congress visit

Kicking off a visit to Washington, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday discussed Iran’s nuclear program with top US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republican Dick Lugar.

Lieberman had no comment as he left Lugar’s office, security retinue in tow, after a roughly hour-long meeting amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons ambitions.

But Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher told reporters that the two officials had discussed Iran, terrorism, the dangers of weapons of mass destruction falling into the wrong hands, and the Arab Spring one year after it swept the region.

On Iran, “they really focused on sanctions and, obviously, trying to get international players on board, particularly the Russians and the Chinese, and so you have a unified front in terms of sanctions,” said Fisher.

Lugar and Lieberman agreed that the sanctions “need to continue to be pushed” and that Russia and China need to be “much more on board” with Western powers on that front, said Fisher.

The foreign minister “indicated his appreciation to Senator Lugar for his strong position on the sanctions,” said the spokesman.