Lieberman says sanctions can stop a nuclear Iran

Hinting at a preference for military action, Lieberman says "no option should be excluded."

avigdor lieberman 88 (photo credit: )
avigdor lieberman 88
(photo credit: )
The European Union has given up hope that diplomatic means and economic sanctions could prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman thinks otherwise. Lieberman, who is considered the most right-wing minister in Israel's cabinet, found himself more optimistic than a leaked EU document that concluded that there would be no way to prevent Iran from enriching enough weapons-grade uranium to develop a nuclear bomb. The document states that the Iranian nuclear program has not been affected by diplomatic pressure, and has only been delayed due to technical limitations. But Lieberman, in a letter he sent earlier this week to the heads of 17 British NGOs who coauthored a report on Iran, said he does not "exclude a non-military resolution of this crisis." He further stated: "I believe that if the international community takes tough enough economic and political measures, Iran might be brought around." Hinting at his preference for military action, Lieberman wrote that "no option should be excluded" when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons" and "Iran must be stopped, irrelevant of consequences." The British report on Iran, entitled "Time to Talk: The Case for Diplomatic Solutions on Iran," angered Lieberman because its authors did not include the desire to annihilate Israel as one of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's motives for obtaining nuclear technology. Lieberman also objected to the lack of analysis evaluating the consequences of not stopping Iran from reaching nuclear capabilities. He compared the report to former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain's attempt to appease Adolf Hitler ahead of World War II. "The flat-out denouncement of military action doesn't address the possibility that diplomatic efforts might fail, and Iran will be in a position to launch a nuclear strike against Israel," Lieberman wrote. "The omission of these facts raises serious questions as to the impartiality of this report and its authors."