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      Finance Minister: Iran's Economy Near Collapse

      "It is time to tighten sanctions without letting up," Steinitz tells visiting Italian prime minister.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 4/9/2012, 12:50 PM

      Minister Steinitz
      Minister Steinitz
      Flash 90

      "The Iranian economy is near collapse, therefore it is time to continue to tighten the sanctions without letting up," Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz told visiting the Italian Prime Minister Monday.

      Recent sanctions against Iran included the cutting off of the country's banks by the SWIFT monetary transfer service and moves against its central bank.

      In his meeting with Prof. Mario Monti, who also serves as Italy's Finance Minister, the two statesmen agreed on establishing a joint technological research fund that would encourage technological and industrial cooperation between the two countries' high-tech industries.

      Other matters discussed included the large deal in which the IDF is purchasing Italian-made trainer jets, and the reciprocal purchases that the Italians will make in Israel, from the Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael and Elbit.

      Monti expressed great interest in Israel's two-year budget and said that European countries need to examine the idea positively.