Thursday, October 28, 2004

Powell warns Israel on using force against Iran -

Powell warns Israel on using force against Iran -: "Powell warns Israel on using force against Iran
10/28/2004 5:00:00 PM GMT

Powell warned Israel that diplomacy and not force is the way to deal with Iran's nuclear program.

Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Israel on Wednesday that diplomacy and not force is the best way to deal with Iran's nuclear program.

Powell said that he had no information on rumors that Israel might launch pre-emptive strikes on Iranian nuclear reactors.

He said that "there was a lot of speculation and horror stories and other stories about what this might lead to in the way of crisis and part of that speculation is that the Israelis might do something or not do something."

"I have no information on that," Powell said.

"And I think the whole world, to include Israel, is trying to find a diplomatic and peaceful solution to this problem."

In 1981, Israeli warplanes have destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor in order to prevent former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from producing nuclear weapons.

Powell alleged that Iran is planning to develop nuclear weapons, but he said that he doesn’t believe it could be done overnight or in the next several months. "It's going to take them time," he said.

Powell also said that it was time to refer Tehran’s nuclear file to the UN Security Council, which could impose possible sanctions on Iran. "It is not in the interests of the region or the world for Iran to be moving in this direction," he said.

The State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, also said at the daily media briefing that sending Iran’s dossier to the UN Security Council remains the U.S. position even with the talks taking place in Vienna.

"At this point, we have not seen anything different," he said. "But in terms of Iranian commitments or behavior, we will have to see how the meeting went."

The U.S. accuses Iran of covertly developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the U.S. claims and insists that its program is mainly aimed at the peaceful generation of electricity.

In talks Wednesday in Vienna, Iranian delegates and European officials failed to reach a deal concerning Iran’s nuclear program, but both sides said that they would meet again soon.

Iran's delegates insisted on their right to enrich uranium, and Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei excluded any long-term suspension of the enrichment process.

The Europeans are offering Iran a trade deal and nuclear technology, including a light-water research plant, in return for a suspension of enrichment."

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