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Iran

Lieberman: Iran Must Give Up On Nukes Or Chances Of Military Action Are 'High'

Lieberman Discusses Threat From Iran (Part 1)i
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August 26, 2012
During a visit to RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague on August 26, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (Independent-Connecticut) said there is "clear" evidence that Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons and that if Tehran achieves this goal it would represent a threat to the entire world.
By RFE/RL
PRAGUE –- During a visit to RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague on August 26, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (Independent-Connecticut) said there is "clear" evidence that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapons capacity and that if Tehran achieves this goal it would represent a threat to the entire world.

"I am supportive of the current approach of the Unites States administration toward Iran's nuclear weapons development program," he said. "We think this is evidence -- clear -- not just from the U.S. but international United Nations agencies, that the Iranian regime is building the capacity to build a nuclear weapon -- many of them -- and that if that happened it would be threatening to the entire region and the entire world."

Lieberman, in an interview with Niusha Boghrati of RFE/RL's Radio Farda, pointed out it is not only the United States and Israel -- or the West in general -- that is threatened by Iran's pursuit of a nuclear capacity.

"There is tremendous fear of Iran with nuclear weapons, not just in the United States and Israel, for instance, but throughout the Arab world and, of course, in Europe," he said. "So, what was the hope -- that the sanctions would hurt the Iranian economy and perhaps create the kind of pressure from the people on the regime in Tehran, to lead the regime to pull back from its total support of this nuclear weapons development  program -- that part, I would say unfortunately, has not had the result that we had wanted."

Lieberman said there is a general consensus that Iran already has enough enriched fuel to build five small nuclear weapons.

Iran denies that it is pursuing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear enrichment is for purely peaceful purposes.

Lieberman said the failure of sanctions to convince Tehran to halt its suspected nuclear weapons program could push countries such as the United States to consider more drastic actions.

"So, we're coming to a point where there will only be two choices for not just the U.S and Israel but other countries." Lieberman said. "Will we simply sit back and let Iran become a nuclear power and destabilize the region and start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? Or will we be compelled to take some military action to delay or destroy that program?"

He said it "doesn't make any sense" to wait until Iran actually possesses nuclear weapons to take military action. "What we are saying," he said, "is [that] we have to be ready, if all else fails -- economic sanctions, diplomacy, etc."

But many, even in the intelligence community, have suggested that an attack on Iran would not totally eliminate the Islamic republic's ability to produce nuclear weapons, since Iran's nuclear facilities are believed to be located deep underground or inside mountains.
Lieberman Discusses Threat From Iran (Part 2)i
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August 26, 2012
During a visit to RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague on August 26, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (Independent-Connecticut) said there is "clear" evidence that Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons and that if Tehran achieves this goal it would represent a threat to the entire world.
Asked about that, Lieberman replied that a military strike would at least delay Tehran's nuclear ambitions and buy time until a new Iranian regime, possibly more amenable to negotiations, came to power.

"I think we have the capability either to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program or to disable it in a way that it will be delayed for enough years that we may hope and pray that there will be a regime change and that there will be a more democratic and friendly regime," he said.

In the end, Lieberman said, it is up to Iran's leadership to make the correct choices and engage with the international community.

"If there is military action by anyone outside of Iran against Iran's nuclear program, it's only because the government in Tehran has given us no other choice. And I hope it doesn't come to that," he said.

"Members of both parties politically in the United States, and the American people, want peace with Iran," Lieberman continued. "But if Iran doesn't respond by altering its nuclear program, the prospects of U.S. military action are high."
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by: JohnWV from: USA
August 26, 2012 13:13
Iran is only Israel's current fixation. America's entire electoral system has been corrupted by Netanyahu's Israel, AIPAC, Israel Firsters and ingenious distribution of enormous amounts of Jewish money. Our representative democracy is nearly defeated and the destruction of America as we know it well underway. Termination of the criminal treachery and treason demands immediate priority. The Government of the United States must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast.
In Response

by: Scott Perry from: Ann Arbor, MI
August 26, 2012 14:01
Trying to stop Iran's nuclear program, in the hopes of halting the nuclear proliferation of the Middle East, is like a doctor trying to halt his patient's appendicitis by giving his patient an aspirin. While the patient may experience a certain immediate relief, the underlying
problem will remain, and still must be properly addressed, if the patient is to survive.

For however so long as Israel is the sole possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East, the question of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East will remain like the hundred headed hydra, one head may be chopped off, but two will always eventually grow back in its place.

The only long term solution for Israel, is for Israel to remove the source of the trouble. The removal of this source, unfortunately will not be an easy pill for Israel to swallow, but it is Israel's only hope for ultimate long-term survival.

Until Israel relinquishes its own nuclear arsenal, the cycle of cutting off one of the hydra's heads, and then returning only to find a worse situation than the last in its place, will only be repeated again and again.



by: JohnWV from: USA
August 26, 2012 14:42
However did we get it all so backwards? As a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an internationally recognized right to develop and implement nuclear technology. Israel rejected the NPT and has no such right. Yet, the Jewish state has ICBM nukes and openly threatens Iran; actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, should be sanctioned and forced to reveal its nuclear machinations to IAEA inspection. However did we get it all so backwards?
In Response

by: Sey from: World
August 26, 2012 16:13
Israel's your patron...sorry, ally.

by: J
August 26, 2012 15:54
Don't you have a good reporter in RFE/RL who can ask real questions?!

by: Amin from: Texas
August 26, 2012 16:11
By now we all know that Lieberman speaks for Israel. He does not represent the USA.

by: George from: USA
August 26, 2012 16:32
Lieberman is one of the most rabid supporters of Israel and subscribes to the Israeli paranoid sentiments that are entirely based on lies about Iran's nuclear program.

Two NIEs have stated that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Even Secretary of Defense Panetta and other top US officials and even Israeli Defense Minister Barak have acknowledged that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Yet, avid hawks like Lieberman continue this fantasy about Iran's nuclear "capability." It is just an excuse to continue to destabilize Iran and to maintain the hegemony of the US in the Middle East.

As the NAM meeting shows, Iran is not isolated and the Obama Administration's continued belligerence towards Iran will end in abject failure. Assuming that President Obama wins the November election, it will be incumbent upon him to shed the shackles of idiocy imposed on US foreign policy by the remnants of the Bush foreign policy and completely revise his approach towards Iran.

All sanctions against Iran should be removed and Iran should be accepted as just another normal country in the world. The right to enrich uranium by Iran as specified by NPT should be recognized. Iran has indicated that it is ready to implement an intrusive inspection scheme even with just a two-hour notice. There is no reason to drag on this farce. Iran is not developing nukes and has no interest in developing any.

by: Anonymous
August 26, 2012 17:54
Bloodthirsty psychotic warmonger.

by: MJ
August 26, 2012 18:36
Great question on the resolution. Although he sticks to his nonsense like always, it is good that you reporter tells the truth into his face. Thanks.

by: Sassan from: Southern California
August 26, 2012 19:17
The rabid individuals on here who attack Israel and offer excuses for the evil regime of the Islamic Republic are quite comical. The only regime that is an expansionist imperialistic regime is the Islamic Republic of Terror. This is a regime that is guided by the "return of the hidden imam" and believe that they must do everything in their power to create havoc and terror in their imperialist ambitions in bringing back the "return of the hidden imam". This is at their core motivations. It is important to note that the Iranian people don't buy into this sick ideology but rather this is the sick ideology of the regime henchmen whom oppress, persecute, and kill the Iranian people with impunity. In contrast, Israel has a history and an experience of knowing that ideologies are important to take seriously. The last time an ideology of an evil madmen was ignored, their entire existence as a people were nearly wiped out. And I speak not as an Israeli or a Jew but rather as an Iranian atheist whom would be executed in Iran for being a non-believer or "Kafar". Truly shame on you moral defeatists whom offer excuses for a regime that is guided at their core with the most vile of ideology. A regime that rapes our young sisters before executing them through a temporary marriage or "Sigheh" so that they don't "die as virgins" as "virgins go straight to heaven". It has been time to support the Iranian people in getting rid of the terrorist regime of the Islamic Republic once and for all. Until we get rid of this regime in support of the Iranian people, the threats posed to humanity by this regime will not only remain but they will only get far worse.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
August 27, 2012 07:52
Hahaha you hypocrite. Are you not do the same for Israel? If we look at it closely, Israeli leadership is a zealous as the Iranian leadership and if not more. This their version of Iraq war. I have always said that any country in the Mideast that would want to develop or buy nukes is because of Israel holding nukes. The most simple solution is to force Israel to give them back to US, their manufactures, but no its profitability that is the root of this tree. Opening a new market to play by international rules that are rigged to the already rich nations. Tululu governor!!!!

by: William from: Aragon
August 26, 2012 23:28
Political rhetoric - there must be an election in the air.

When US secretary of Defence Leon Panetta was asked by CBS on 8 JAN 12 whether Iran was actually trying to develop a nuclear weapon, he responded: ‘No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.’
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57354647/face-the-nation-transcript-january-8-2012/

A nuclear capability? This, as it turns out, is not exactly a threat to world peace. In fact, it goes hand-in-hand with the development of nuclear power as a civilian energy source. Iran is doing no more than what Brazil or Argentina are also doing by developing a civilian nuclear sector – and both Brazil and Argentina, like Iran, do not permit full International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections.

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
August 27, 2012 01:30
The islamofascists can't keep their pants up long enough to accomplish anything. Maybe if we supply them with enough ammo they will kill each other off, and the rest of us can live in peace :-)
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