Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni Warns Europe on the Threat of a Nuclear-Armed Iran (Excerpts)

December 11, 2006

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The EU is a key player in facing the challenge posed by the nuclear aspirations of the rogue state of Iran, and in the prevention of the proliferation of non-conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

This Iranian regime is a clear and present strategic threat to Israel, but it is no less a threat to the values of the EU, the international community, and the security of the region and the world as a whole. In fact, many countries in the Middle East - particularly the Arab/Sunni regimes - have an increasingly acute sense of the threat they face from a nuclear Iran. As a whole, the EU takes this threat seriously. Yet, the delaying tactics of the Iranian regime have bought them significant leverage, and time is of the essence. The breakthrough in their technological capability can happen sooner then we think.

One can still hear - from some capitals - hesitation and doubts. One can hear talk of the possible effect of oil prices, or the need to give more time - which, of course, the Iranian regime exploits only to move closer to nuclear weapon know-how and capability.

There are some who perceive the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran as a single, isolated, and somehow manageable problem. They are deeply, and dangerously, mistaken.

If it becomes clear that the world is not going to seriously confront this threat, this can lead to a domino effect. Some countries in the region may seek protection in nuclear weapons of their own. Others may feel compelled to appease or submit to the Iranian regime. In either case, we will face an unacceptably dangerous and volatile situation.

It has become vital that the EU, as a key player in this issue, increase its efforts in preventing further delays, and proceed to the immediate implementation of effective sanctions, in addition to any other measure effective in preventing a nuclear Iran.

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