EU politician calls for isolation of Iran

EU official: ME conflict solution might make the fight against terrorism and Islamic easier.

iran map nuclear 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
iran map nuclear 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Veteran European Union parliamentarian Elmar Brok called for the isolation of Iran on Tuesday and said the Quartet should play a stronger role in the Middle East. The efforts of European officials have made it possible for the United Nations to pursue the issue of sanctions against Iran, said Brok, who is visiting Israel and heads the Committee for Foreign Affairs in the EU's parliament. Those efforts, he added, were now being blocked by Russia and China. "We should do the utmost to isolate Iran," said Brok in Jerusalem. Last week Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni accused Europe of not doing enough to combat the nuclear threat from Iran. But on Tuesday, after meeting with Brok, Tzachi Hanegbi, who chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, commended Europe for its work in the UN in attempting to broker a compromise on the issue of sanctions. "We have no problem with the leadership of Europe. The efforts headed by Germany, Britain and France are in the right direction," said Hanegbi, who added that he hoped a way could be found for Russia and China to agree to the sanctions. "We need a decision within days," he said. Brok said that when his country, Germany, takes over the EU presidency in January, it should press the Quartet to play a stronger role in the Middle East because the conflict does not just represent a danger for Israel. If the Middle East conflict is solved, "it might be easier to fight terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism," he said. "The EU under the German presidency will take the initiative to have the Quartet in a stronger role," said Brok. "It is very clear for the EU parliament that every solution to the Middle East conflict has one priority, that is a secure State of Israel. But we believe that such a secure state can only be achieved if there is a state of Palestine which has conditions that are economically sound." Hanegbi said it was clear during their discussion that Europe and Israel were both in support of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Brok is part of a seven member delegation of EU parliamentarians which is on a three-day visit to Israel. They are scheduled to meet with Livni, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas.