Daily Israel Report

German FM: Discussing Attacks on Iran is Dangerous

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: Publicly discussing a military strike on Iran strengthens its leadership.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/8/2011, 6:09 AM

Guido Westerwelle
Guido Westerwelle
Flash 90

Germany’s Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, warned on Monday against a debate about a military strike against Iran, Reuters reported.

Westerwelle said in an interview with a local newspaper that publicly discussing an attack on Iran is dangerous and strengthens the leadership of the Islamic Republic rather than weakening it.

“I warn against floating the idea of military options,” Westerwelle was quoted as having told the Hamburger Abendblatt. “These are debates...that strengthen the Iranian leadership rather than weaken it.”

He made the comments several days after the Israeli media was widely speculating on the possibility that Israel will strike Iran’s nuclear program. The speculations were based on unverified claims that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been lobbying for ministerial support for the strike.

The Israeli government has reportedly ordered a probe into leaks to the media which caused these unbridled speculations.

Westerwelle’s comments come as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to issue a critical report on Iran’s nuclear program. The UN Security Council is not expected to impose stiffer sanctions as a result of the report, but the German Foreign Minister was quoted as saying that if Iran would not cooperate, the “international community will not simply return to business as usual.”

“Iran has the right to use nuclear energy for civil purposes but also the duty to exclude a military use,” he said.