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Gorbachev: America 'Itching' for War With Iran

By David A. Patten   |   Wednesday, 08 Dec 2010 07:25 PM

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president and general secretary of the Soviet Union, said in an exclusive Newsmax interview that Americans are “itching” to resort to military action against Iran — but he cautioned that more time is needed to allow negotiations to work.

He also made a veiled reference to Israel, suggesting that it should reduce its nuclear arsenal.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax Editor and CEO Christopher Ruddy, Gorbachev was asked whether a military option against Iran should be considered if it fails to comply with global demands that it cease developing weapons of mass destruction.

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“Let us not rush to military action and think about using bombs,” Gorbachev responded in an emotional tone, as he emphasized that the military option is not acceptable. "That is not right.”

Ruddy conducted the interview at the Moscow headquarters of the Gorbachev Foundation, which seeks to support global peace efforts and other humanitarian causes.

gorbachev,russia,nuclear,treaty,ruddy,iran,wikileaks,newsmaxThe former Soviet president granted Newsmax the exclusive interview to discuss his remembrances of former President Ronald Reagan, a man he described as a "friend and partner." The full interview detailing Gorbachev’s efforts to end the Cold War with Reagan will air on www.newsmax.com around Feb. 6, the centenary of Reagan's birth.

[Please Note: You can receive a free copy of Newsmax magazine's "Reagan 100" edition with President Gorbachev, historian Douglas Brinkley, and many others — Click Here Now.]

Despite repeated sanctions, Iran’s mullahs continue their march toward developing nuclear weapons, according to various international sources.

On Monday, talks resumed in Geneva among Iran, Germany, and the five permanent member-nations of the U.N. Security Council (United States, France, China, Russia, and the United Kingdom). The talks ended with an agreement to hold further talks early next year.

Kazem Jalali, spokesman for Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, on Wednesday hailed the resumption of talks as a “great victory” for Iran because its diplomats did not allow “Iran’s inalienable nuclear rights” to become a topic of discussion during the negotiations.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated repeatedly that the state of Israel would be "wiped from map."

But critics in the United States and Israel of Iran's unwillingness to comply with United Nations requests have called for military strikes against Iran's weapon sites. New WikiLeaks revelations suggest that Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have pushed the United States secretly to use military force to stop the Iranian program.

Gorbachev insisted that Russia, which has been very reluctant to embrace stiffer sanctions against the Islamic Republic, shares the global concern that Iran’s nuclear development could destabilize the Middle East.

“Remember, Iran is our neighbor,” Gorbachev said during the 45-minute, sit-down interview with Newsmax. “And so those that think that we’re not worried about this danger are mistaken. We are worried about Iran. We want to work together with our neighbors, with other countries, to be sure that this problem is solved in the proper way. So we’re not really minimizing the problem, no.”

Asked at what point military action could be necessary, Gorbachev made the pointed observation that lately U.S. leaders have been much better at getting into wars than ending them.

“Well, I think all Americans, including reporters, I think are itching for military measures,” Gorbachev said. “Your presidents like a war or two, and then they don’t know how to extricate, how to pull out. You are having difficulty pulling out of Iraq and then there is Afghanistan.

“So, have another war again? No, I don’t think so. I think that everyone now in the U.S., more people in the U.S., believe that the diplomatic process, the six-plus-one diplomatic process, can succeed. This can be done,” he said.

“And therefore we should continue the reductions of nuclear weapons, including in the country that would like to use it against Iran,” he said, making an oblique reference to Israel.

Israel has never acknowledged that it has a nuclear arsenal, but is believed to have a stockpile of more than 200 nuclear weapons.

[Editor's Note: Get a free copy of Newsmax magazine's “Reagan 100” February edition with President Gorbachev, historian Douglas Brinkley, and many others — Click Here Now.]

Also Read These Exclusive Newsmax Stories:

Gorbachev on WikiLeaks: Fire Diplomats, Russian Democracy Still Alive

Gorbachev to Republicans: Avoid ‘Dangerous Dance,’ Pass New START Treaty

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