Kissinger: US Should Establish Red Line of Its Own on Iran

Friday, 28 Sep 2012 09:34 AM

By Dan Weil

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The United States should develop a red line on Iran’s nuclear program just as Israel has, says former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a speech to the United Nations Thursday said that Iran’s nuclear program must be halted before next spring or early summer, making that Israel’s red line. Presumably a military attack would ensue if Iran crosses that marker.

Kissinger told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Thursday night that he would divide the red-line issue into three parts for the United States.

One definition of a red line would be “we give the Israelis authorization to act on the basis of a red line,” Kissinger said. “That I don't think we can do. We cannot give a country an advance authorization to go to war.”

Second, “should we have a red line in our own mind at which point we say the unacceptable level has been reached?” Kissinger asked. “Absolutely. We have to understand what we mean by the red line, and not redefine it in order to extend it.”

And finally, “should the Iranians understand that there is a red line which they cannot cross?” he asked. “I would again say absolutely. So in the sense of should there be an American position that defines to ourselves what we consider unacceptable and what we will do about it and conveys that determination to the Iranians, that needs to be done. That doesn't need to be announced, but it needs really to exist.”

Once our government makes that determination, “we have to come together [with Israel], because I don't think there's any question that Israel will not accept it [Iran’s nuclear program], and that therefore there is high danger of a conflict,” Kissinger said.

If he was secretary of state right now, “the problems that would preoccupy me most are crises that could happen not caused by any of the major countries, such as a crisis in North Korea not caused by China,” he said. Others would be “an outbreak of war in the Mideast or the sort of crisis we now see between Japan and China, which was triggered by the impact of the two countries on each other, not by long-range policy considerations.”


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