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Kissinger: Russia fears Iran could inflame its Muslims.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says the American-led effort to bring the Islamic Republic to heel through sanctions has accomplished nothing because sanctions are measured by what can be enacted not by what can have an impact on Iran.

In a speech to the Londonbased International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), Kissinger said Russia has no interest in seeing Iran get nuclear weapons, but it is far more concerned about the threat to Russia, which has a large Muslim minority, of a severe confrontation with the Islamic world.

Kissinger said that if present trends continue the United States will soon be faced with a choice--whether to go to war to stop Iran from going nuclear, or figure out how to live in a world where not only Iran but a multitude of other countries possess nuclear weapons.

Kissinger, who was secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford in the 1960s, spoke of Iran solely in the context of nuclear proliferation, an issue with which he has been identified or more than a half century. Here is the full text of that part of Kissinger's speech.

"Let me turn to nuclear proliferation. The United States and some of its allies treat these issues as a technical problem. They propose means of preventing it and offer international sanctions and international inspection as a remedy.

"If we take Korea and Iran as the major proliferating countries at this moment, their neighbors have a different, more political or geostrategic perspective. They almost certainly share the view of America and its al lies of the importance of preventing nuclear proliferation. China cannot possibly want a nuclear Korea--or Vietnam for that matter--on its borders, or a nuclear Japan; nor can Russia welcome nuclear-armed Islamic border states, all of which are likely consequences of the failure of nonproliferation policy.

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"China also has a deep concern for the political evolution of North Korea, and Russia for the international and political consequences of a confrontation with Islam. For all these reasons they are not prepared to engage in pressures that either threaten the regimes or even impose serious consequences on them. As a practical result, the willingness to apply pressures is limited to measures stopping well short of effectiveness.

" In this manner, collective security begins to undermine itself. A decade of United Nationsbacked negotiations on Korea and Iran has produced no significant results, or at least no results relevant to the resolution of the problem. It becomes a method used by proliferators to gain time. "Negotiations on proliferation and sanctions come to be defined by their attainability, not by their consequences or results. The passage of a resolution is treated as an achievement, not its impact on the problem it is trying to resolve.

"Time is not neutral. The drift will, within a measurable point, oblige the international system to choose one of two courses: whether to take decisive measures, defined as measures that have an impact in a finite time on the resolution of the problem; or how to live in a proliferated world.

"We will then have to come to grips with what this world will look like: how it organizes itself, what a widely proliferated world means for alliances, and its impact on deterrence. In fact, at that point we may be in the strange position that strategic weapons systems, for which no practical use has yet been invented, will be significant for the purpose of preventing proliferated weapons from becoming conventional, and preventing nuclear war from becoming an accepted pattern when the weapons have spread." Kissinger said.
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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Sep 17, 2010
Words:597
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