Davos 2013: Kissinger says Iran nuclear crisis close
A nuclear war in the Middle East would be a "turning point in human history," says Mr Kissinger
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned that a crisis involving a nuclear Iran is in the "foreseeable future". The Nobel Peace laureate, 89, was speaking about prospects in the Middle East at the World Economic Forum.
He said nuclear proliferation in the region triggered by an armed Iran would increase the chances of an atomic war - "a turning point in human history".
He also urged the US and Russia to co-operate in resolving Syria's conflict.
"There has emerged in the region, the current and most urgent issue of nuclear proliferation. For 15 years, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have declared that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, but it has been approaching," he said.
"In a few years, people will have to come to a determination of how to react, or the consequences of non-reaction.
"I believe this point will be reached in a very foreseeable future," he added.
In his assessment of the stand-off between Iran and Western powers over its nuclear programme - which Tehran argues is for peaceful and civilian purposes - Mr Kissinger called for "serious" negotiations on both sides to look for solutions.
"Unilateral intervention by Israel would be a desperate last resort, but the Iranians have to understand that if they keep using the negotiations to gain time to complete a nuclear programme then the situation will become extremely dangerous."
The consequences of Tehran's programme, he said, would be that other countries in the region would also want nuclear arms.
"The danger is that we could be reaching a point where nuclear weapons would become almost conventional, and there will be the possibility of a nuclear conflict at some point... that would be a turning point in human history," he said.
"If Iran acts as a nation and not as a revolutionary cause, there is no reason for America or other permanent members of the UNSC to be in conflict with it, nor any countries in the region. On that basis I would hope that a negotiated solution would be found in a measurable time."
Meanwhile, Mr Kissinger advocated a US-Russia understanding over the conflict in Syria, while opposing military intervention.
"The Syrian problem would best be dealt internationally by Russia and America not making it a contest of national interests," he said.
"I would hope that the undertaking of the US foreign policy will not be be characterised by the divisions that we see in [its] domestic policy."
Obama not bluffing over Iran military threat, Biden tells Aipac
Vice-president tells Aipac that military option remains on the table for Obama to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon
Barack Obama's threats to use military force to prevent Iran securing a nuclear weapon are more than idle bluffs, vice-president Joe Biden told the biggest pro-Israeli lobbying group Aipac on Monday.
Biden said that while the US preferred a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran, a military option remained on the table.
"The president of the United States cannot, and does not, bluff. President Barack Obama is not bluffing," Biden told the audience in Washington.
Israel is seeking assurances of support from the US, should it decide to launch air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities.....
Netanyahu: Iran closer to nuclear 'red line'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points to a red line he drew on a graphic of a bomb while addressing the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2012
AFP - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that diplomacy has so far failed to deter Iran from pursuing its nuclear program, warning it was getting closer to crossing a crucial "red line."
"Iran is getting closer to that red line, and it is putting itself in that position to cross it," Netanyahu told the largest American pro-Israel lobby via satellite, referring to the point at which Israel believes Iran would be able to build a nuclear weapon.
Clock Runs as Obama Faces Pressure for Strike on Iran
The pressure on President Barack Obama’s administration to move toward military action is growing as Iran advances its uranium enrichment capabilities, and U.S. lawmakers, Israel and Persian Gulf allies press for results.
Today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said negotiating time is “finite.”
“The clock is ticking and the president has made that clear,” Kerry said in an interview in Doha with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News. “The president’s policy is that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon".....
Top General: At Least One Arab State to Go Nuclear If Iran Does
CENTCOM head: 'At least one other nation...at a leadership level, they have assured me they would not stay without a nuclear weapon if Iran armed'
Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. James Mattis said Tuesday that ”at least one other nation” has told him “at the leadership level” they will seek nuclear weapons if Iran goes nuclear:
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R., S.C.): If the Iranians develop a nuclear capability, how certain are you that other nations in the region would acquire an equal capability?
MATTIS: At least one other nation has told me they would do that, at a leadership level, they have assured me they would not stay without a nuclear weapon if Iran armed.
GRAHAM: Was that a Sunni-Arab state?
MATTIS: Yes, sir.
GRAHAM: So the likelihood of Sunni-Arab states acquiring nuclear capability to counter the Shia Persians is great, would you not agree with that?
MATTIS: I agree, and also other non-Sunni-Arab states in the general region.
The statements by Mattis contradict the findings of a recent report drafted by former Obama Pentagon official Colin Kahl and produced for the Center for New American Security. That report argues that Saudi Arabia–as well as other states–would be unlikely to develop nuclear weapons if Iran acquired nuclear weapons.
Edited by key2thecup, 05 March 2013 - 02:37 PM.