British FM joins appeal to Israel: ‘Don’t hit Iran’ (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 02/20/12)
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“I think Israel, like everyone else in the world, should be giving a
real chance to the approach we adopted: very serious economic
sanctions and diplomatic pressure, and the readiness to negotiate
with Iran,” he said.
Hague said that there were two possibilities if Iran went ahead with
its nuclear program.
“Either, they [Iran] will be attacked, and there will be a war, or
there would be a cold war, in which Iran for the long term would be
subject to very intensive economic sanctions.
They would find that other nations in their region developed nuclear
regions, and they would be in permanent standoff with those
This would be “like the Cold War, but without many of the safeguards
against accidents and misunderstandings that we had in the Cold War,”
Hague’s comments came the same day that CNN aired an interview with
the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army Gen. Martin
Dempsey, who said an Israeli attack on Iran would be “destabilizing”
and “not prudent.”
Meanwhile, UN nuclear inspectors headed to Iran on Sunday for talks.
“We hope to have a couple of good and constructive days in Tehran,”
Herman Nackaerts, deputy director general of the UN International
Atomic Energy Agency, said at the Vienna airport, as the five-member
team prepared to depart.
“The highest priority remains, of course, the possible military
dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program,” he told reporters, making
clear he wanted to see concrete results in the discussions with
Western diplomats have played down any hopes of a major breakthrough
in the February 20-21 meeting, even though it comes just a few days
after signs of a possible opening for diplomacy in the long-running
“I’m still pessimistic that Iran will demonstrate the substantive
cooperation necessary,” one envoy said.
The outcome, after an inconclusive first round of discussions last
month, could determine whether the international standoff over Iran’s
uranium enrichment program escalates further or tensions reduce.
But the US and EU expressed cautious optimism on Friday over
prospects that Iran may be willing to engage major powers in new
talks. They stressed that any resumed negotiations must be sustained
and focus on the nuclear issue.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton said Iran’s letter to Ashton last week might mark a
Iran’s letter to Ashton – who handles contact with Iran on behalf of
the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – proposed
resuming the talks and said Tehran would have “new initiatives” to
bring to the table.
“In these negotiations, we are looking for a way out of Iran’s
current nuclear issue so that both sides win,” Iranian state
television quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying on
Sunday. Reuters contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 02/20/12)
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