Thursday, February 23, 2006

Active U.S. Role in Iran Talks Proposed

Barry Schweid, Yahoo News:
Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called on the United States Wednesday to join now-sidelined European negotiations designed to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. His appeal for a joint approach drew support from Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was former President Carter's national security adviser. READ MORE

Appearing together to discuss foreign policy problems at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Brzezinski criticized the Bush administration for leaving the negotiations to the European Union.

A better approach, he said, was the one the administration is taking in trying to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program. There, the United States joined China, Japan, South Korea and Russia in the negotiations and even held some direct talks with the Pyongyang government, he said.

But on Iran, Brzezinski said, "We are unwilling to be part of any active solution."

Fischer, who was Germany's foreign minister from 1988 until last November, said Iran posed the "most important challenge" to the Europeans and the United States, and to their trans-Atlantic partnership.

"It would be really helpful if the United States could join," he said of the talks Britain, France and Germany held with Iran while the United States maintained its diplomatic boycott of Tehran.

"We have an important opportunity to solve this if we work together," Fischer said. "Europe is not strong enough."

It makes no sense, he said, for the Bush administration to be promoting regime change in Tehran while the Europeans were trying to work out an agreement with Iran.