Israeli report claims sanctions hitting Iran hard

Sep 27, 2012, 6:33 AM EDT
A visitor looks at portraits of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the exhibition "faces of power" by Greek photo artist Platon Antoniou, shown at the Photokina 2012 in Cologne, Germany.
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — A new Israeli government report finds that recent international sanctions are hitting Iran hard, undercutting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's key claim as he heads to the United Nations to argue for tougher action against Israel's arch foe.

The Israeli foreign ministry report finds Iran's oil exports declined 50 percent in the past year, while food and electricity prices have skyrocketed.

An Israeli official confirmed the report, leaked Thursday in Israel's daily Haaretz. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss internal government documents.

Netanyahu is expected to argue at the U.N. later on Thursday that international sanctions have not convinced Tehran to curb its disputed nuclear program.

Israel and the U.S. believe Iran seeks a nuclear weapon and threatens Israel's existence. Iran denies the charge.

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