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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in the first ever visit to Cyprus by an Israeli PM, said that sanctions against Iran have so far been ineffective.

“Iran is the most irresponsible force in the world. I hope the sanctions will have an effect, but so far they have not. We are dealing with a regime that violates every resolution and has no respect for international standards,” Netanyahu said, after holding talks with Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias.

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His comments come a day after Iran announced the achievement of another milestone in its nuclear enrichment program – the use of Iran’s first domestically made fuel rods.

Netanyahu’s one-day visit is intended to cement the burgeoning ties between Israel and Cyprus, and was used as an opportunity to sign a ‘search and rescue’ agreement between the two countries, whereby Israeli aircraft will be authorized to enter Cyprus’ airspace in the event of disaster, and vice versa.

The agreement also reflects the extent of the rupture in Israel-Turkey relations, as – for all intents and purposes – this agreement replaces a similar one between Israel and Turkey that had been revoked.

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