International sanctions could trigger a popular uprising in Iran like the revolt in Egypt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman predicted on Sunday, according to AFP.
"The opposition demonstrations that took place in Iran in June 2009 will come back in even greater force," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview with the Haaretz daily.
"In my view, there's going to be an Iranian-style Tahrir revolution," he said, referring to last year's mass protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that forced Mubarak to quit.
"The young generation is sick of being held hostage and sacrificing their future," Lieberman said.
"The situation in Iran, and the feelings of the man on the street, is one of economic catastrophe," he said.
"Just this week there was another devaluation of the Iranian rial .... There's a shortage of basic goods, a rise in crime, and people are trying to flee the country, sending money abroad," said Lieberman.
He also addressed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly in which he warned about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, with the help of a sketch of a comic-book bomb with a line drawn in red marker showing the state in the device's development which he said Iran must not be allowed to pass.
"You can laugh, but everyone is talking about... the red line," Lieberman told Haaretz.
In a second interview which aired on Channel 2 News Sunday, Lieberman said that it may not be necessary for Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, since the economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic are effective. He emphasized, however, that all options are still on the table.
“We may not have to attack," said the Foreign Minister. “It is very much possible that the economic sanctions will have an effect at a level that there will be no need to talk of a military option.”
“I reiterate, however, that all options remain on the table,” stressed Lieberman, adding that "what we see now in Iran is a rapid economic decline. We see bitterness, jumping rates and inflation."
A new report released by the Foreign Ministry last week said that Iran is being hard hit by international sanctions, but the evidence indicates its nuclear development activities are galloping ahead.
The report found indicated that oil exports from Iran have declined by 50 percent over the past year, and the prices of food and electricity have skyrocketed.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)