Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Henry Kissinger: Iran A Test Of Western Alliance

Dow Jones Newswires, AP:
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Tuesday in a newspaper opinion piece that the health of the western alliance could well be determined by how it handles the Iran nuclear issue. Writing in the Washington Post, Kissinger said the European allies engaged in the Iran negotiations - the U.K., France and Germany - need to clarify their position.

"Do the allies intend to confine their efforts to diplomacy, or are they prepared for other measures if diplomacy fails?" Kissinger asked.

He suggests that some in the alliance "would rather face the perils of a proliferated world than the risks of avoiding it through common pressures."

The administration, meanwhile, contends that Iranian nuclear weapons are unacceptable and stresses the need for options beyond diplomacy, Kissinger wrote.

"One reason the European negotiators have made the limited progress they have on the nuclear issue with Iran is the implied threat of actions the United States might take in case of deadlock," he said.

He added that the U.S. and the Europeans should consult on the timing and content of ongoing diplomacy with Iran "and the strategy for measures beyond it."