Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Germany rules out war against Iran -

Germany rules out war against Iran -: "Germany rules out war against Iran
11/10/2004 8:30:00 AM GMT

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said that war is not an option against Iran.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said on Wednesday that war is not an option against Iran and no one expects the standoff over Iran's nuclear program to lead to an "Iraq-like confrontation."

However, Fischer was quoted by Germany's Stern magazine as saying that there were "deep concerns" about Iran's nuclear and missile programs, adding that the possession of nuclear weapons would pose a real threat to the region and Europe.

"I don't see that we're immediately heading for an Iraq-like confrontation," Fischer said. "I believe that it's clear to all parties involved that war is not an option."

Fischer also refused backing Iranian opposition groups to topple Iran’s current leadership. “We are placing emphasis on the political process,” said Fischer.

Earlier this week, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has also excluded that the United States was preparing to resolve the standoff with military force.

The U.S. accuses Iran of covertly developing nuclear weapons and wants Tehran’s nuclear file to be referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

The Islamic republic denies the U.S. allegations and maintains that its program is mainly aimed at the peaceful generation of electricity and insists on its right to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"A military nuclearization of Iran would have unforeseen consequences in one of the most dangerous regions of the world. That would not only threaten Israel but also Europe," Fischer said.

The EU “Big Trio” warned Iran that it might face UN Security Council sanctions if it fails to suspend all activities related to the enrichment of uranium by a November 25 deadline set by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Europeans are offering Iran a deal under which the Islamic republic would freeze its uranium enrichment program for an indefinite period, while negotiating a larger package of economic and political incentives.

But the U.S. remains deeply skeptical over the EU-Iranian nuclear deal. American officials claim that Tehran is only using the negotiations with the Europeans to buy time in order to develop atomic weapons.

Jeffrey Gedmin, head of the U.S. Aspen Institute in Berlin, which has close links to the American government, describes the EU Big Three’s initiative as an “axis of weakness.”

“In truth, Germany’s Iran policy has been bankrupt from nearly day one,” said Gedmin.

“In 1999 the EU changed the name of the policy to ’Constructive Dialogue’ ... Europe is nice to the mullahs, and when this fails, well, Europe tries to be a little nicer,” he said, adding: “Germany has been allergic even to the idea of stepped up political pressure.”"

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