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Israel’s deputy prime minister says Iran’s boasting of breakthroughs in its nuclear program shows it is panicking over the latest Western sanctions.

Moshe Yaalon told Israel Radio on Thursday that Iran’s ceremonious TV broadcast the previous day, featuring President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad touring a Tehran research reactor, was a sign of weakness.

He says it much more about symbolism than substance and that Iran is feeling the brunt of sanctions against its central bank and gas exports.

Yaalon says: “We are seeing reactions that are in some ways hysterical.”

Israel has been a leading voice in an international campaign to halt Tehran’s nuclear program. Like the West, Israel accuses Iran of pursuing atomic weapons. Tehran denies the charge.

AP

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