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FM: Nuclear-armed Iran 'not an option'
Photo: DPA

FM: Nuclear-armed Iran 'not an option'

Published: 10 Sep 2012 07:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Sep 2012 07:16 GMT+02:00

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Sunday that a nuclear-armed Iran was "not an option" as he called on Tehran to hold "substantial negotiations" over its controversial atomic programme.

"We share the Israeli concerns about Iran's nuclear programme," Westerwelle said at the beginning of a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem.

"A nuclear-armed Iran would not only pose a threat to Israel but to the stability of the entire region. A nuclear-armed Iran is not an option," he said.

The so-called P5+1 group, comprising the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, suspects that Iran may be trying to develop a nuclear weapons breakout capability.

Tehran insists its atomic ambitions are completely peaceful, but Israel – widely suspected to have the region's sole, if undeclared, nuclear arsenal – has warned that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat.

It has said it would take all necessary steps to prevent that from happening, not ruling out a pre-emptive military strike.

"We will keep up sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Iran. We still see room for diplomacy," said Westerwelle in remarks relayed by his office. "We urgently call on Iran to enter into substantial negotiations."

Sanctions by Western states as well as the UN Security Council aimed at forcing Iran to curb its nuclear activities have had a crippling effect on its economy, with its rial currency on Sunday sliding to a new record low against the dollar.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Cyprus said on Saturday they were considering imposing further sanctions on Iran, voicing frustration at negotiations with the Islamic republic that have all but stalled.

Speaking alongside Westerwelle, US President Barak Obama said that Israel knew that "Germany is a pillar in the international community, standing against Iran's continued movement towards military-nuclear capability, playing a part in both the sanctions and the diplomacy, and whatever might be needed to block them."

He added that Israel appreciated Germany's actions "to promote normalisation and peaceful activities" among Israel and the Palestinians.

"We highly appreciate both the political contribution and the support you provide to the Palestinians both in Judaea and Samaria and in Gaza," Obama said, referring to the West Bank and the enclave run by the Islamist Hamas group.

Relations between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have long been tense over Israel's settlement activity and lack of negotiations with the Palestinians.

But Westerwelle's visit comes amid a fresh source of discontent, with Israel's Haaretz newspaper saying Israel was seeking to reach a new understanding with Berlin to ensure German arms sales to Arab states do not undermine the Israeli military's qualitative advantage.

Last week, the German daily Bild said Israel had protested at the highest level over a deal to sell submarines to Egypt.

Meeting with Netanyahu later in the day, Westerwelle reiterated that Germany will "not accept" a nuclear-armed Iran.

Addressing the recent slew of rockets from Gaza that hit southern Israel early on Sunday, Westerwelle said Germany condemned "every kind of terrorist attacks against Israel," according to a statement from the Israeli premier's office.

And Netanyahu vowed retaliation to the rocket attacks, which destroyed one house in Netivot.

"I'm absolutely committed to making clear to these terrorists that they can't do this with impunity," he said in a statement. "They have paid a price in the past for these crimes and they'll pay a price again."

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:11 September 10, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Nuclear-armed Israel, on the other hand: perfectly normal. Ah, the double standards...
10:47 September 10, 2012 by elitebavarian
poor Germans, still feeling guilty what their fore-fathers did to Jews. European so-called leader becomes merely a puppet when talking to Israel.

Perhaps one day Germans will realize that Israel is doing the same to the innocent Palestinians what their fore-fathers did to Jews.
13:19 September 10, 2012 by Onlythetruth
@ elitebavarian

The innocent Palestinians? The poor, sweet Palestinians are guilty of acts of terrorism against the jewish state too numerous to count. They had their chance to compromise at Camp David with Arafat but they insist on having all of Israel so their "struggle" goes on. It ain't about the germans feeling guilty its about the germans doing the right thing and acting in their own self interest. Both the Palestinians and the Iranian state that uses the Palestinians for their propaganda value will have to come to terms with the real world sooner rather than later or suffer the consequences.
13:45 September 10, 2012 by mos101392
@elitebavarian

I agree if one has nuclear weapons, it would be hypocrytical to but against another having them. Maybe if Isreal proved to it's neighbors it has no nukes, then maybe their neighbors would not be so affraid and not need nukes.

As for doing the same to the Palestinians as the Nazis did to them...you are wrong.

The Palestinians aren't being systematically squeezed into trains, gassed, and cremated by the millions. The ones who hate Israel, should also hate the ones who convinced the Jews to have their own state. If you know your history, most of Europe hated the jews although they had lived there thousands of years. It was only after WWII that they decided it would be best to have their own state. So first of all, blame the Europeans for the state of Israel. As an American, I would have no problem with all of them going back to Europe.

The word holocaust came from England when Edward I, (Longshancks)), borrowed money from a group of jews to pay for his war against the Scotts, instead of paying them back, he had their boat sank in the Thames and they drowned.
14:39 September 10, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Dear EliteBavarian.

France, England, etc. have the same policy against Iran and they do not feel the same guilt as the Germans, due to WWII.

Dear Ovalle.

Yes Israel has (probably) 300+ nuclear weapons. But they have not used one of them, have they? Nor does anyone expect them too. Iran, on the other hand...

Maybe if you do some comparative studies between Israel, and its neighbors, you will notice regular elections, rule of law, etc. in Israel. (No. Israel is not perfect.)

Hard to believe it's going on 4 years since the Ayatollah crushed the protestors in Iran (2009) afte the last election.
14:40 September 10, 2012 by Englishted
P5+1 and the 1's only answer to every problem is to talk,talk ,talk .

May I suggest that German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle pays a personal visit to Tehran and as he is openly gay see if talking helps ,he may come back (maybe not ) with a more hostile attitude.
14:57 September 10, 2012 by elitebavarian
during or before the WWII, no one in Germany realized that something wrong is done against jews, only it was later revealed. The same way, I hope, after 30-40 years, this world will finally realize what is now being done to Palestinians.

@SchwabHallRocks, How can you say Iran will use the nukes and Israel can't?? Let me put in this way, the only country which has used nukes is the 'universal champion of human rights' and the other countries which have never used these 'toys' or even don't posses these, are labelled as terrorist states.

Sometimes I think how easy is it to make European and American people fool ... is there anyone who has asked their respective Governments where are the chemical weapons which were the reason to attack Iraq and slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians?
15:12 September 10, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Gee folks, we have "another one" on our hand with the "elite bavarian."

Well, at least you have not denied the Holocaust yet.

And, you probably won't tell us that Syria is misunderstood, due to a zionist plot.

Since the US and its numerous allies went to war with Iraq, only good things have happened in the arab lands. Maybe you are not aware of them.

Saddam - gone

Khaddafi - gone

Egypt - Mubarak gone, generals renounced last month, elections

Tunisia - elections. No more self-immolations.

Syria - falling, falling, almost gone.

Algeria youth - denounced Al Qaida

Jordan - still relatively stable

Saudi - letting women drive cars!

Iraq - far fewer deaths from war than under Saddam

Etc.
15:22 September 10, 2012 by elitebavarian
@SchwabHallRocks: nice joke.

Sometimes I feel lucky that Germany does not have Oil or Gas. otherwise Germans would also need 'American Democracy'.
15:49 September 10, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@ Elite Bavarian

The Norwegians, British, Canadians, Mexicans, Russians, have suffered horribly with their Gas and Oil supplies "Under American Decmocracy" to be sure.

Or perhaps their civilizations don't have so much trouble with with the rule of law, democracy, etc.

But like I said, at least you aren't denying the Holocaust (yet) or any of the facts / events since the fall of Saddam that I list above.

You - all you can do is regurgitate a very young man's uninformed view of the world.
16:00 September 10, 2012 by elitebavarian
oh, I thought you were just kidding, did not know that you seriously believe those things.

Iraq - far fewer deaths from war than under Saddam

try to contact 'Dr. Google' and you will see if the above line is laughable or not. meanwhile, I am still waiting for the answer, where did Saddam's chemical weapons go? After all approximately 1 million people were killed to take control of those weapons.

Oh yes, American have very friendly relationship with Russia, this is new to me as well. and I did not know that the Great Britain do have some Oil and gas resources.

I really regret what happened in WWII and I don't deny those facts, but it does not give the right of WWII Victims to take revenge from others now. Also, Germany does not need to be embarrassed now, after 70 years. Just look towards the 'champion of human rights' USA that they are still killing millions of people just for Oil and they never feel embarrassed.
16:13 September 10, 2012 by tedesco
Israel is right, everybody else is wrong. As always. Big news.

Move on...
17:16 September 10, 2012 by ITAMAR
elitebavarian

No we do not take revenge from the Palestinians on what happened to us in the 2ww ,it is a national conflict between 2 different people on the same land,while the Palestinian side never recognized our right to exsist as a state.

Nobody blames Germany today for what happened before 70 years,the 2 people has good cultural scientific, commercial relations.

Any compare between the holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is wrong,you can not compare two different political -historical events.
17:29 September 10, 2012 by vonSchwerin
1) Iran has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Israel has not.

2) Iran says it wants to wipe Israel off the map. Israel does not say what it will do with such weapons and almost certainly has no plans to use them (other than as a deterrent).

The situations are not the same.
17:59 September 10, 2012 by elitebavarian
Have never heard about Iran's plans to attack Israel. The following two statements seem to be identical.

1. Saddam (Iraq) has chemical weapons

2. Iran will wipe Israel off the map

The sad thing is, people start believing the Media or CIA and forget about their lies in the past. We have forgotten how western world made Saddam, Qaddafi, Osama bin laden, Al-qaida etc etc.

ah, innocent people of the capitalist era. We have very very short memories.
18:40 September 10, 2012 by realist1961
My memory is not so short to forget the genocide of the Kurds and the invasion of Kuwait at the hands of Saddam. Saddam was a bad apple and needed to go... just like the folks SchwbHallRocks mentions. I have no issue if Israel has nukes or any other nation who has them as a deterrent. I do have an issue with a nation having them who has lost touch with reality... like denying the Holocaust or who activity talks about eliminating another nation.
19:19 September 10, 2012 by ovalle3.14
@SchwabHallRocks

Put that Kool-Aid down!

I know of a country that owns atomic weapons, already used them to kill thousands of innocents, and to this day continues to have such weapons unchallenged...
19:21 September 10, 2012 by ITAMAR
elitebavarian

you have just to listen to the speech of Ahmed El Najar and the other Iranians leaders they declare it openly and repeat it over and over
19:30 September 10, 2012 by IchBinKönig
I get the feeling 'elitebavarian' is an alias for our other 'smartest' most popular commenter.
20:18 September 10, 2012 by jtech7
ovalle3.14: What does Russia (Chernobyl ) have to do with this?! They are talking about Israel and Iran...I think you need to stop spiking your Kool-Aid with schnapps!
20:34 September 10, 2012 by schneebeck
@ IchBinKönig #19

The two (or one) entities you just referred to might be paid by a government to post the things they post.

That's the feeling I am starting to get. But maybe not. I'm digressing from the topic of the article, sorry.
21:21 September 10, 2012 by montosun
What about Nuclear Armed USA and Israel? and what about Germany holding Nuclear Arms for USA? What about the stupid war in the name of Nuclear Arms on Iraq?
21:33 September 10, 2012 by elitebavarian
so it is the western media or CIA who is gonna decide which country can have nukes and which can't. Even they forget about the country which used it twice and still has the highest number of nukes.

@IchBinKönig: Na, this is my first time to comment here and surprised that all of my German friends accept the fact that they can't say anything against Israel even if She is wrong. But on this page, no one is accepting that. May be no actual German is commenting here.
23:57 September 10, 2012 by Mark S.
If I can break from the flames to comment on the original article:

Iran has no serious motivation to give in on this issue. Rather, they appear to be using the North Korea strategy: Keep pretending to negotiate, but drag the process out until you have a weapon ready to use. Then at the last minute, withdraw from the non-proliferation treaty, set off a bomb so everybody knows you have one, and tell the world "watch out - I'm dangerous".

If a nuclear armed Iran is not an option, how will Westerwelle prevent that scenario?

Israel has well-based fears: Iran has funded terrorist attacks against Israel in the past. Ahmedinijad has called Israel "an insult to humankind" and "a cancerous tumor that will soon be excised". If Iran had a nuclear weapon, would YOU feel safe living in Israel? For that matter, would you feel safe living in New York?
00:21 September 11, 2012 by Divest from War Campaign
As usual, this is about the Israel-first crowd trying to get the US to fight their wars for them.

And their threat: if you don't do it, we will.

Let's make sure there is a high cost for them starting Middle East War III. We can do this nonviolently by pledging to BOYCOTT ISRAEL IF IT BOMBS IRAN:

http://www.divestfromwar.org

Let's PREVENT the next war, instead of protesting it after the fact!
10:44 September 11, 2012 by Onlythetruth
No, you have it backwards Divest, lets all pledge our support to Israel if it decides to bomb the Iranian nuclear sites. No present arab state should be trusted with nukes ESPECIALLY the Iranians who have threatened to wipe Israel of the face of the earth. God wills that the state of Israel be destroyed doncha know.
13:55 September 11, 2012 by septiSeverus
Let us not all blindly pledge support for Israel or Iran.

Pledging support for Israel to start a war with Iran will not resolve the conflict and issues in the middle East.

When Gods eternal prosecuted peoples arrived in Palestine to claim their ancient historical lands in the 1920s, there were people living there. Most had real deeds and ancestral roots, not imaginary, fair tail claims to lands and territories.

It was not God or prophets that provided the lands of Palestine to the non-Jewish people living there or the State of Israel. For Israel, the jewish home land was a declaration from the British Government.

One possible motivation to start a war with Iran, Annexation of more land, access to resources and power.
14:14 September 11, 2012 by elitebavarian
a few years ago,

Iraq has chemical weapons, lets attack Iraq .... (USA: every ally will get her share of Oil from Iraq)

Now a days,

Iran will have nukes in near future .... (Israel: every ally will get her share of Iranian Oil)

and the poor innocent people of western countries will continue believing these 'created' stories. After all they don't care about slaughtering of millions of people just because of these Oil wars.
14:33 September 11, 2012 by raandy
It would seem from Netanyahu that having the money and ability to invade Palestine, Lebanon with a coordinated military attack is not terrorism only when a rocket is fired in retaliation for all those settlements and check points and humiliation is it terrorism.

I wouldn't trust Netanyahu around a glass corner.
16:55 September 13, 2012 by Neanderthal
"Israel is right and right is Israel"

Israeli version of Jesus
15:52 September 14, 2012 by TDSR
Mankind should give a define good-bye to nuclear fission power plants because they will be an eternal menace to world's peace due to breeding of plutonium for weapons. A better option is the aneutronic fusion, clean and safe, no neutrons, no proliferation and no radioactive waste. http://youtu.be/ro5-QYqqxzM
21:27 September 14, 2012 by michael valerio
But nuclear weapons in Israel is ok? What hypocrisy. The German governments position should be NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS FOR ANY COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST PERIOD. This Westerwelle and Merkel have got their collective heads up their back sides when it comes to Israel. Why is that? The poor German tax payer is on the hook for every kind of rip off that comes out of Israel.
02:18 September 15, 2012 by DrGideonPolya
Gross hypocrisy and dishonesty by FM Westerwelle and the German Government.

Racist, genocidal, serial war criminal, "democracy by genocide", ethnic cleansing Apartheid Israel reportedly has 200 nuclear weapons (Google "List of states with nuclear weapons") as compared to 8,000 (US), 10,000 (Russia), 225 (UK), 300 (France), 240 (China) , 100 (India), 110 (Pakistan),
14:52 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
And no nukes for Iran dammit. Not if we can help it and have any sanity left.
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