Kissinger: Iran threat will not go away

Former US secretary of state says world needs clear criteria and timetable for dealing with Teheran.

kissinger jlem 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
kissinger jlem 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
A nuclear-armed Iran threatens not only the existence of Israel but the viability of the international community, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned on Wednesday, in an address to the "Facing Tomorrow" conference in Jerusalem. Everyone speaks of unacceptability, but no one speaks out about how to approach the problem and in what time frame, Kissinger said, adding, "it will not go away." Kissinger cautioned that if something was not done soon regarding Iran, there would be multinational proliferation of nuclear weapons with catastrophic potential. The international community had to define what nuclear capability means, Kissinger declared. Once that definition had been reached, he said, it must establish clear criteria for making decisions, setting a timetable and imposing meaningful sanctions. If necessary, he emphasized, it must take dramatic measures. "There is no point talking about unacceptability without defining specific proposals and significant sanctions," Kissinger underscored. "Then nations decide whether other measures can be taken as a last resort." Dennis Ross, of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (which helped to organize the conference) said policy makers had to think very hard about the threat of Iran. "When you use the word 'unacceptable,' it has certain implications, but we don't see policies that reflect that, and Iran has shown no qualms about defying the international community," he said.