Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Comments on Nuclear Security and Iran at the 46th Munich Conference on Security Policy (Excerpts)

February 6, 2010

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

. . .

German foreign policy is peace policy.

Today the uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons is probably the most serious threat to our security. The signing of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the 1960s was an act that aimed at more than just codifying the status quo. Today it still contains a reciprocal promise: the commitment to non-proliferation, matched by the nuclear powers' commitment to disarmament. One commitment aims to prevent the proliferation of the capability to produce nuclear weapons, the other aims to reduce existing arsenals of these weapons.

That is why the controversy over the Iranian nuclear programme is not just a regional matter, but rather an issue with global repercussions.

Iran has a treaty-based right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The E3+3 group has even offered Iran extensive support in this field if, in return, it provides proof of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. Our hand remains outstretched, but it has not been taken up so far. If there is to a new cooperative approach, Iran has to follow up its words with concrete actions. An agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on the issue of the Tehran Research Reactor would be a confidence building step. It would not be a substitute, however, for negotiations to ensure the civilian character of the Iranian nuclear program. A nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable for us. Such a development could lead to the destabilization of the entire region and to a potentially fatal impairment of the non-proliferation regime.

. . .