Saturday, March 05, 2005

Powell Sees No Need to Use Military Against Iran

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Saturday said he saw no need for military action against Iran for its suspected development of nuclear weapons, given strong diplomatic efforts to address the issue. read more

Powell told Fuji Television in an interview that although military force remained an option, President Bush had made it clear that he wanted to find a diplomatic solution.

"Just because there is the possibility you could use military force, I don't see any need to think about that right now because there are ... strong diplomatic efforts under way," Powell told Fuji Television's "Hodo 2001" program.

"The international community has come together to make it clear to Iran that they should not develop nuclear weapons and we are developing the efforts of the European Union ... and we are working with the International Atomic Energy Agency, so the issue of conflict for Iran I don't think arises yet," he told the Japanese television station in a live interview. ...

He said the cases of North Korea and Iran were different from the situation in Iraq, primarily because there was a "hot conflict going on" with then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein over his repeated violations of U.N. resolutions.

"They were violating UN resolution after UN resolution after UN resolution, and it was time to do something about Iraq," he said. "But I think there is time for democratic efforts to produce a solution to the effort with North Korea and with Iran."

He acknowledged that he had differences with some U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, over how much time to give the United Nations to resolve the dispute with Iraq before the United States declared war.

But he insisted that Washington's preference was "always to try to find a peaceful solution to the problem and not look for an opportunity to go to war."