Iran Nuclear NewsIran, N.Korea top threats to world peace-Germany

Iran, N.Korea top threats to world peace-Germany


Reuters: The nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea pose the two greatest threats to world peace and could spark a nuclear arms race among their neighbours, Germany’s foreign minister said on Wednesday. By Louis Charbonneau

BERLIN, Oct 18 (Reuters) – The nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea pose the two greatest threats to world peace and could spark a nuclear arms race among their neighbours, Germany’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Germany, France and Britain are drafting a U.N. Security Council resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment programme, which the West fears could be used to develop atomic weapons.

The Security Council has already imposed sanctions against North Korea, which tested a nuclear device on Oct. 9.

“Both of these provocations can awaken the desire for nuclear weapons among their neighbours. We must prevent this, which is why we’re not at the end of this conflict but at the beginning,” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted as saying in an interview with German weekly magazine Stern.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in comments reported by the RIA news, directly contradicted the view that Iran represented a threat to world peace.

“It is necessary to act on Iran but that action should be in direct proportion to what is really happening,” the agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

“And what is really happening is what the IAEA (U.N. nuclear watchdog) reports to us. And the IAEA is not reporting to us about the presence there of a threat to peace and security.”

In June, Russia and China joined France, Britain, Germany and the United States in offering Tehran economic and political incentives in exchange for a suspension of enrichment work.

But Iran, which says its nuclear ambitions are limited to peaceful electricity generation, refuses to stop enriching.

Steinmeier reiterated that the incentives offer remained on the table and “promised the country a way out of its isolation.”


At a meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday, the EU’s 25 foreign ministers called for incremental measures that officials said would be targeted first at individuals, companies and materials involved in Iranian uranium enrichment activities.

Russia and China have said they dislike the idea of imposing sanctions on Iran and have called for renewed talks.

In New York, French U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere told Reuters France, Britain and Germany aimed to put forward their draft resolution on Wednesday or Thursday.

EU ministers made clear that alarm at North Korea’s nuclear test and its implications for other countries were one key factor in showing their resolve towards Iran, although their economic interests with OPEC member Iran are far greater.

Russia, which is a key diplomatic player in both the Iranian and North Korean nuclear conflicts, said it hoped North Korea would take a “rational decision” to end the row over its nuclear test through talks not confrontation, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Russia, like China, is a veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council and a participant in the six-way talks with North Korea over its nuclear programme. It also shares a small land border with North Korea on the Pacific coast.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Tokyo for talks with Japanese officials about North Korea. (Additional reporting by Christian Lowe in Moscow)

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