Israeli military action against Iran unwise, warns William Hague (GUARDIAN UK) Press Association 02/20/12)
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Foreign secretary says economic sanctions and negotiations over
nuclear programme must be given a chance to succeed
William Hague has warned Israel that military action against Iran
would not be "a wise thing".
Amid rumours that the Israeli government is considering strikes
against Iran within months, Hague insisted economic sanctions and
negotiations had to be given a real chance to convince Tehran to
abandon its nuclear ambitions.
In an interview on BBC1´s Andrew Marr Show, the foreign secretary
repeated his warning that a nuclear-armed Iran would result in
another cold war in the Middle East.
"They would either be attacked and there would be a war, or there
would be a cold war in which Iran for the long term would be subject
to these very intense economic sanctions and they would find that
other nations in their region developed nuclear weapons," he said.
Hague cautioned against military action, although he said it was not
ruled out as an option. "I don´t think a wise thing at this moment is
for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran," he said. "I think
Israel like everyone else in the world should be giving a real chance
to the approach we have adopted on very serious economic sanctions
and economic pressure, and the readiness to negotiate with Iran.
That´s what we need to make a success of."
Hague said Israel did not share its plans with Britain. "We do not
take any options off the table, we don´t know how the situation will
develop, it would be unwise to do that," he said. "But our approach
is 100% diplomatically and economically focused to bring Iran to the
Hague said there was "no specific information" about a threat to the
London Olympics from any Tehran-backed terrorists. But he
acknowledged: "Clearly Iran has been involved increasingly in illegal
and potentially terrorist activity in other parts of the world.
"I think Iran has increased its willingness to contemplate utterly
illegal activities in other parts of the world. This is part of the
danger that Iran is presenting to the peace of the world."
The shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, called for "calm
heads and clear thinking", but said Iran needed to feel the
international community´s "full force".
He told Sky News´s Murnaghan programme: "The right approach at this
stage is to push forward the twin-track approach: on the one hand
offering genuine engagement, on the other hand tightening the
peaceful pressure, strengthening the sanctions that are being felt at
"When the international community says ´all options need to be left
on the table´, I agree. If we are to see any prospect of those
diplomatic pressures changing the attitude of the regime in Tehran
towards the development of nuclear weapons, then they need to feel
the full force of the international community in saying there is a
period where we want to see this work taken forward – and that period
where we need change from Iran is now."
Alexander said the government should focus not on "raising the
rhetoric, but on redoubling their efforts to secure a diplomatic and
peaceful outcome". (guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited
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