Sunday, October 30, 2005

UK Defense Secretary: Iran Poses Challenge to International Community

Dow Jones Newswires:
Iran, whose president this week called for the destruction of the state of Israel, poses a challenge to the international community, U.K. Defense Secretary John Reid said Sunday.

The U.N. was holding informal discussions Sunday about Iran, which has been accused of supporting insurgents in their attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq. There is also international concern that Iran has ambitions to build nuclear weapons.

Reid said Iran appeared to be trying to confront the international community, which is considering how to respond. READ MORE

"I don't think anybody is speaking about military involvement at any level about the questions we are facing just now," he said in an interview with the BBC's Sunday AM program.

"But it is certainly a challenge to the United Nations."

"You cannot have a member of the United Nations developing its own nuclear weapons in complete breach of all of the promises, all of its obligations, and at the same time threatening to wipe out another state of the U.N."

Reid said he didn't have conclusive proof that the Iranian government was involved in providing weapons to insurgents in Iraq. But he said there was evidence of the involvement of Iranian elements in the Iraqi insurgency.

"Iran has to change its behavior in terms of support for terrorism, in deceit over nuclear weapons and in terms of its relationship and threats to other members of the international community," he said.

"That is a challenge to the whole world and to the United Nations. It is the United Nations which must face up to that and (Secretary-General) Kofi Annan has made it plain that it intends to face up to that."