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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Strong criticism for head of Munich Security Conference: "A Nuclear Iran must not be accepted!”

Press Release STOP THE BOMB February 3rd, 2012

On Friday February 3rd, 2012 the world’s security community gathers at the 48th Munich Security Conference in Germany. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 350 foreign affairs politicians and security experts have announced their attendance. Their main topic will be the Iranian nuclear threat.

Ambassador Ischinger, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference said in an interview:” The time has come to dispel a taboo and to put up with Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb, if finally necessary. If it was possible to successfully deter the vast Soviet Union, then this will probably be possible with regard to Iran?” [1]

Political scientist and Iran expert, Dr. Matthias Küntzel comments [2]: “With this statement, Ambassador Ischinger stabs in the back of the West’s efforts to prevent the Iranian bomb. At the same time he signals to Tehran that the attempt to split the West can rely on leading German foreign affairs politicians. The German Federal Government must officially dissent from Ischinger’s approach. It would otherwise repudiate its own policy of sanctions in front a large international audience in Munich."

With the acceptance of an Iranian nuclear bomb Ischinger, a former German ambassador in Washington, thwarts the current sanction efforts by the international community. The EU had announced in January an oil embargo and sanctions against the Iranian Central Bank. U.S. President Obama had stressed in his State of the Union speech, that no option would be  taken off the table and thereby invigorated international Iran sanctions. Ischinger holds the sanctions strategy to be appropriate but not effective enough. If he now wants to discuss on how to contain an Iran in possession of nuclear weapons, he undermines the West's policy.

He undermines the credibility of Western leaders who, like Obama and Merkel had always said that an Iranian nuclear bomb could not be accepted. Ischinger’s unrealistic proposals would result  in a total loss of trust. It would fundamentally alienate allies in the region and would drive them into an arms race.

With his containment strategy towards Iran, Ischinger risks a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. In response countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia will strive for nuclear weapons. Why should they continue to trust the West’s security guarantees after such a treachery.

Ischinger’s comparison with the deterrence strategy of the Cold War is also misleading. In the Soviet Union the West had a much more rational adversary than with the current Iranian regime. The world was actually several times at the brink of mutually assured destruction (MAD) which makes Ischinger’s recipe in the case of Iran not a very promising one regarding security gains.

Michael Spaney, spokesman for the campaign STOP THE BOMB, which advocates for tough sanctions against Iran, said: “Ischinger’s proposed containment strategy is not a non-military strategy, and it is not, as he suggests, an alternative to military action. But it would entail years or decades of enforced rearmament in the Middle East. It would trigger bloody proxy wars and strengthen jihadi forces and reactionary military dictatorships. A nuclear-armed Iran would finally bury all resting hopes and opportunities of the already problematic Arab rebellions. It would transform the Middle East into a nuclear-armed, highly explosive and unstable region in crisis, ruled by a friend-foe logic of war.”

Hopefully, the participants in Munich will clearly mark the red lines for Iran's nuclear program and will jointly coordinate policies and measures to stop the Iranian bomb.

An important point here must be the compliance to existing sanctions. The current German state of affairs shows a continuing scandal revealed by newspaper reports at the end of last year. The reports were based on material of the STOP THE BOMB campaign. In the second half of 2011 the German Federal Office for Export Control (BAFA) approved the delivery of German technology supplies worth 150 million euros for the development of a gas field of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. And this despite the fact that the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian energy sector have been sanctioned by the European Union. To date, this had no consequences for the facilitating company Hansa Group AG or any other German companies involved. The BAFA under the authority of the German Federal Ministry of Economics doesn’t follow its mission defined by the European Union, which is to control the sanctions against Iran on German soil. [3]


Contact Matthias Kuentzel at: