BERLIN – German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the Israeli government
should stop talking about attacking Iran.
“In terms of military action
against Iran this action is not illegitimate, but not wise,” de Maiziere said on
Tuesday at the European Israeli Dialogue conference in Berlin.
only a question of what will happen the day after in Tel Aviv, it’s a question
of what will happen elsewhere in the world.”
He also said that an
additional result of an Israeli strike would be the emergence of new alliances
“Of course, silent applause among some Arab countries will
take place,” he said, adding that it could be in the interest of the Iranians to
present themselves as victims, and that was not in Israel’s interest.
Maiziere admitted that a military strike could delay Iran’s nuclear program for years.
“A delay is quite
important,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk about winning time, and that’s not
to be underestimated.”
Asked if Germany was going to follow Canada’s lead
and cut off diplomatic relations with Iran, he said it was a pragmatic issue,
not one of ethics.
“Canada chose the easiest way,” he explained. “We
would not be allowed to stop diplomatic relations. On several occasions we have
been asked by our friends to get information.”
De Maiziere said he had
expressed his skepticism to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other Israeli
officials about the effectiveness of a military strike.