Israeli hardliner slams 'European appeasement' on Iran
AFP | July 10, 2007
Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed the European Union on Tuesday for what he termed its appeasement attitude over Iran's nuclear programme.
"The wind of Chamberlain is blowing over Europe," the noted hardliner told army radio, referring to former British premier Neville Chamberlain, known for his appeasement policy towards Germany's Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
"My feeling when I hear the Europeans in Brussels, and also here during the visit of (Italian prime minister) Romano Prodi, is that they want to make Israel believe it should accept a peaceful nuclear programme by Iran," he said.
"This is absolutely surreal... the Europeans would like to make us take on this problem which is not uniquely ours."
Israel and its main ally the United States spearhead opposition to Iran's nuclear programme, suspecting it could be a cover for plans to build the bomb, a charge Tehran denies.
Tehran's refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment programme has resulted in the UN Security Council adopting two sets of sanctions against Iran.
Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, with an estimated 200 warheads.
Despite Lieberman's comments about Prodi, the Italian leader said after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem on Monday: "Iran cannot and should not have a military nuclear capacity."
"Iran's refusal to abide by the requests of the United Nations Security Council furthers chances to strengthen the sanctions. This leads us down a path that no one wants to take," he said.
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