Wednesday, July 17, 2024
 
 

US Warning Shot To Iran On Nukes

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BRATISLAVA – On 19 April, the United States reiterated it is “determined to stop” Iran from developing nuclear weapon capability. “States such as Iran that has shown no hesitation to engage in terrorist activities far from its own boarders, it’s not a state that can be trusted to act reliably if it comes into possession of nuclear weapons,” Thomas Countryman, assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, told a session on global proliferation challenges during the GLOBSEC 2013 Bratislava Global Security Forum.

With US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel scheduled to begin his first visit to Israel on 21 April, Israeli defence and military officials warned that Tel Aviv was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Countryman said Washington is determined to do whatever is necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Tehran’s actions are a threat to US friends and allies in the region but also a threat to the very integrity of nonproliferation regime, he added. “The single thing that is most likely to cause the nonproliferation treaty regime to fail is the development by Iran of nuclear weapons. In that situation it will become increasingly difficult to prevent the lateral proliferation of weapons throughout the region, he said. “This is why it is a threat, why we are determined to pursue diplomacy as far as it can possibly go. To use all the diplomatic tools in our disposal and that includes from economic pressure and to rely upon vocal support and physical support from our allies in pushing for sanctions and in pushing Iran to finally address the concerns of the international community,” Countryman said.

Regarding the possibility of a military strike against Iran,

Roland Freudenstein, deputy director of the Centre for European Studies, in Brussels told New Europe on the sidelines of the forum in Bratislava on 18 April there is a high risk of instability in case of a military confrontation. “But I just don’t think that a military strike against the nuclear facilities in Iran will mean the end of the world. I think these dangers are vastly exaggerated,” he said.

“It’s possible that the sanctions are toughened and that then somehow Iran starts actually feeling the heat so much that they will seriously negotiate,” Freudenstein said. “It is possible that in the end, if nothing else works, there will be a military strike – maybe only by Israel, we don't know. There is also the possibility that Iran gets away with the capacity to build a bomb in a matter of weeks, and the rest of the world lets it pass. I hope this will not happen. All options are bad; the question for the international community is what is the least bad of the options,” he added.

“Iran wants to support terrorist organisations with more impunity; it wants to meddle in the affairs of its neighbours across the Gulf; it also wants to have a huge boost in Iranian society, it wants more power and it believes it can get all this with a nuclear weapon,” Freudenstein said.

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Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

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