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Germany to pressure Iran over nuclear programme

The Local · 7 Nov 2011, 15:12

Published: 07 Nov 2011 15:12 GMT+01:00

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A foreign ministry spokesman said ahead of the report from the UN atomic watchdog, which diplomats say contains fresh evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons drive, that Berlin remained suspicious of Tehran's plans.

“It is clear to us that if this report should show that Iran has still taken no credible measures to fulfil its international commitments with regard to the transparency of its nuclear programme, then the German government will call for greater political and diplomatic pressure so Iran will fulfil its international commitments," the spokesman, Andreas Peschke, said. "That remains for us the decisive way to contend with this danger to regional and international security."

Asked about a warning by Israeli President Shimon Peres Saturday that an attack on Iran was becoming "more and more likely," Peschke said Berlin understood what prompted the comments but declined to be drawn on the prospect of Israeli military action against Tehran.

"The concerns and fears (over Iran's nuclear programme) were expressed in the Israeli president's remarks at the weekend," he said. "The question is how we deal with this threat. Iran must once and for all clear up these concerns."

The intelligence update by the UN body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAWA), expected to be circulated Tuesday or Wednesday, will focus on Iran's alleged efforts towards putting radioactive material in a warhead and developing missiles.

One Western diplomat told AFP it would provide "an extensive body of evidence" that Iran is pursuing a drive to build a nuclear weapon.

Western envoys hope the new IAEA report will help convince other countries to pile more pressure on the Islamic republic, which has been hit with four rounds of sanctions by the UN Security Council.

Germany is one of six world powers locked in years-long negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme, which it insists is solely geared toward meeting its civilian energy needs.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:19 November 7, 2011 by Englishted
Building nuclear plants in a earthquake zone ?,

talk is cheap and in this case not very effective.(my entry for understatement of the day)
22:05 November 7, 2011 by bernie1927
Strange. We are talking about transparency, right? So far, Iran does not have a single nuclear weapon and has not threatened anyone with a nuclear strike, while Israel has absolutely no transparency about their nuclear arsenal and keeps threatening Iran constantly. So, where is the logic? How about quid pro quo?
01:49 November 8, 2011 by ChrisRea
The logic is simple: the one with the biggest guns is always right. Politics is not about ethics, but about power. Don't expect China, Russia, NATO, belligerent members of NATO (US for example) or belligerent friends of belligerent members of NATO (Israel for example) to act in a just way - they are pursuing only their own interest, without any connection to human ideals.

Remember the non-existent Iraqi WMDs used as justification for the invasion? Well, a similar story develops now. US and UK are preparing military actions, even if no "smoking gun" is expected to be revealed by the report. Of course, these military actions would have no legal basis.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is a joke. The nuclear weapon states (NWS; China, France, Russia, UK, US) are obliged not to use their nuclear weapons against the other non-NWS signatories. However, US, UK and France already announced that they will not respect that. The second pillar of the treaty (disarmament) did not lead to any action from the NWS. They use only the first pillar (non-proliferation) to make sure other countries will not challenge the power position of the NWS.
03:43 November 8, 2011 by anaverageguy
Iran has promised to soon wipe Israel off the map. Are we forgetting that? Israel has not threatened to wipe Iran off the map. Israel has only promised to defend herself with all available means. I'm not sure I understand how that is unreasonable.

From 1945 until the age of asymmetrical unconventional warfare nuclear weapons kept the peace. Perhaps most importantly they kept the Soviets out of Western Europe. But things change. Now shadow organizations have the power to kill thousands of civilians. It makes no sense to posses a weapon if you tell everyone you won't use it.
06:55 November 8, 2011 by Major B
agree with you again anaverageguy

just look at all the lovers of that illegitmate Iranian government. no one has threatened Iran. These are the same people who backed the former Libyan government. Go ahead and ignore the tired, irritated and majority of Iranians who have experienced nothing but "Rule by the Mullahs" and despise them. The Iranian people have total contempt for their inept ass backwards rulers.

The American people are tired of the Middle East!!!!!! Attack Iran. If they get a nuke we'll have to live with it but "no option is off the table"

But, we won't be able to hold Israel back. This whole situations sucks!!!!!!

As Germany has considerable interestsa(and credibility) in Iran it should pressure them.
08:47 November 8, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ anaverageguy #4

Are you referring to the infamous incorrect translation, when Ahmadinejad said that the oppressing Israeli government of that time has to go? And Western media avid for sensational stories interpreted as wiping Israel off the map? I thought only stupid people are still falling for that.

Israel already attacked Iran with Stuxnet (which, according to the US understanding, was an act of war not different from attacking with tactical or nuclear weapons). Israel always incited to war and assassination of Ahmadinejad (for example during his visit to Lebanon in October 2010).

Iran is far from being the "good guys". But so are Israel, US and other belligerent countries.
10:33 November 8, 2011 by wood artist
Hmmm. A lot of opinions here, which is great. Also, a lot of information here, much of which is just plain wrong. @ChrisRea, you cite a second provision of the NPT regarding the destruction and/or disarmament, and then say the powers have done nothing. Unfortunately, that is 100% false. If you look at the number of launchers and warheads taken out of service by both the US and Russia, you'd quickly discover that while some stocks remain (too many, I might add) they have, in fact done exactly what they said they would, and that's been subject to inspection and verification.

It is true that Israel has always played games with the acknowledgement of their nuclear capability, but virtually everyone believes they have it. As someone else observed, Iran has openly threatened Israel, and while I am not a blanket defender of Israel, I think that is a significant difference.

In any case, peace will only come to the middle east when both sides want peace, and sadly, neither of them do. They continue to do the very things that they know will upset the "other side:" Israel builds settlements and refuses to discuss Jerusalem and the Palestinians continue to launch rockets into Israel.

10:54 November 8, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ wood artist

"Retiring" obsolete nuclear weapons can hardly be considered disarmament. Being reluctant to dispose the 22,000 warheads owned by the NWS is a clear breach of the treaty.

Israel is indeed a significant threat to the world peace. Not willing to sign the treaty and to accept inspectors while pursuing the aggressive policy you mention is not going to lead to a happy end.
14:05 November 8, 2011 by jg.
The relevant bit of the NNPT actually says: "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament."

So, the signatories have undertaken to negotiate - this they have done. They have more or less achieved a cessation of the nuclear arms race but they have yet to achieve disarmament. Given that the treaty does not specify a timeframe in which these goals are to be achieved, I guess they would argue that this section of the treaty is still in progress and/or cannot be achieved while new states are acquiring nuclear weapons.

The bit about not using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states is not part of the treaty but simply undertakings from the the nuclear weapons states. These also contain caveats which allow retaliation and I suspect that the NWS would not honour the undertakings in the case of a non-compliant NPT signatory - e.g. Iran.

"Israel is indeed a significant threat to the world peace."

Although Israel has apparently had nuclear weapons for at least two decades but has not used them on anyone. However, some of their adversaries (potential or actual) have threatened and/or actually used chemical weapons.
14:39 November 8, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
Last thing I read was Israel's response to a nuclear attack with be the so-called "360" or "Samson" approach in which it will launch its 200 - 300 warheads in all directions, pretty much destroying everything from Rome to Mecca to Tehran to Cairo. That would cause a severe disruption to oil supplies.

Anyhow, Jaques Chirac, when President of France, said that the dust from a nuke hitting Israel would not get a meter in the air before Iran would be immoliated. He was coy by not saying who (Israel, the West) would immoliate Iran but that probably does not matter much.

Problem is with the Mullahs running things in Iran, you never know if they would like to be immoliated to bring in the age of the "lost Immam" to fulfill the apocalyptic Shiite teachings.
14:48 November 8, 2011 by jg.
"Problem is with the Mullahs running things in Iran..."

Yeah, they have had enough of the mad Mullahs - Iran needs some Mullah Lite.
15:56 November 8, 2011 by Sastry.M
Man only feels ignorant and seeks to destroy it with knowledge. What man really wants to know, no one really attempts to make an effort. But all efforts are directed to destroy the perpetual sense of apparent ignorance with legitimate knowledge acquired from scientific and technological progress, which is increasingly proving to be paradoxical.

A belligerent posture with an outspoken expectation of threat is only a mirrored inner weakness of inadequate judgement and internal management. The fall of WTCs proved this depicting a total in coordination of security vigilance. The follow up actions of the U.S only muddled up clarity of legitimate definition and drained economy of the Promised Land of hope and purpose to all destitute people around the globe.

At whose behest is such an exemplary nation is slowly reducing to ridicule in spite of the best standards of living and most developed science and technology? What is the beleaguered sense of threat that the best human achievements of all hosted people of globe support the U.S with?

Testing times ahead for both EU and the US. Corporate business cannot deal with mountains of dead corpses as a result of real nuke war and weakness of threat cannot supplant confidence of true diplomacy and understanding in international relations.
17:54 November 8, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
@ Sastry. M

One measure of a nation's perception / value, by the rest of the world, is if it has net immigration or emmigration. America and the West have massive immigration because peoples want to be "inside" those nations.

Regarding the USA's response to WTC, debate will never end. However, more people died in Yugoslavia in the 90s, while the world "monitored the situation" than in Iraq where many nations militarily engaged.

Also, since Iraq war, we have seen elections in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, and hopefully Libya,Egypt, and Bahrain; Libya renounced its nuclear program; revolution in Syria; increased oppression in Iran which will lead to revolution.

Progress is being made in a region that may not have taken place for decades and decades had Iraq not been militarily engaged and defeated in a few days.

Finally, if there is a mountain of dead corpses in the Middle East, what would the impact really be?
01:45 November 9, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ jg.

So you say they are negotiating in good faith for more than half a century and did not manage to reach a positive result? They must be terrible negotiators, these China, Russia, France, UK and US. :)

Do you also say that Israel acts peacefully? Is this why they just threatened to bomb Teheran even if there is not war between the two countries (nor any expression of intent from the Iranian side)?
12:24 November 9, 2011 by Sastry.M

Truly yes.It is the result of indefatigable spirit of people of some European nations, but not all, that initiated for global geographic explorations and later colonial establishments and subjective power of rule. It is the methods of rule by subjective power that displayed their national traits. For example the 'glory of India' as chronicled by many ancient travelers was the 'lure' for wealth for many exploring pioneers. While the Dutch and Portuguese restricted themselves to commerce and trade, the British and French battled for power of rule. Thus the colonial Indians had direct experiences of 'relative' distaste of oppression by many visiting Europeans but the best of all appreciation regarding the Germans for their cultural explorations and scholastic work.

Regarding the USA ,the vast unexplored American continents offered , unlike the ancient Indian, a new horizon for 'all' Europeans and all possibilities to display their truest ethnic,national as well as racial expressions, and hence the hope as a promised land of freedom of expression. Here too the pioneering spirit of various nationalities, w.r.t contributions to state and national building could be clearly discernible in general and those of German communities in particular.

The edge beheld by powerful Europeans in all fields of material human progress is laudable and its immigrant transfer to the U.S is greatly appreciable, consequent to her gaining independence. Thus as a feed nation from oppressive colonial belligerence, the U.S is free from ethnic and racial conscious multi-culti differentiation.

It is only those European nations who wielded colonial power in the past are mulling over the immigration feed back, having magnetized their former colonial subjects with their wisdom and lure of material wealth. .

The debate over WTC big bang will never come to an end as a desired natural response of steady state continuity. In the openly declared WW1,a single battle in the marshy lands of Verdun between the French and Germans left many soldiers dead , even if singly reckoned with, than all those dead in oppressive liberation and anti- terror wars so far.

I beg to differ with the view that progress is a projected innovative expression to free people from decades of self inflicted oppression. This is because the really intended spirit of renovation many not truly address the destitution of motivation, naturally accustomed to be endured by oppressed people for many decades and any coercive application results only in a threatened retaliation.

Finally, the examples of Yugoslavia and Verdun show that capability for destruction is more among progressive people and the mention of a mountain of dead corpses in the Middle East is only an expressive opinion to indicate that human life needs many services and hence requires business but even the dense waters of the Dead Sea may not bear such a heavy dead load.
14:05 November 10, 2011 by jg.

"So you say they are negotiating in good faith for more than half a century and did not manage to reach a positive result?"

I'm sure you have followed the negotiations of START and other treaties over the years. In 50 years, they have got as far as reducing the numbers of weapons and agreed to cease all testing. One of the current issues is that none of the Big 5 are prepared to give up all their nuclear weapons while new countries (India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan) are "joining the club". If Iran demonstrates a nuclear weapons capability, it is expected that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and possibly other Middle Eastern states will want to counter the perceived threat.

Just to clarify, I don't think Israel have threatened to bomb Tehran - they have indicated that they are debating the bombing of sites in Iran that they believe are involved in the production of nuclear weapons. As I understand it, these sites are typically underground and not located near population centres.
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