Kissinger: US on Brink of Nuclear Crisis with Iran

Sunday, 27 Jan 2013 06:35 PM

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Former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate Henry Kissinger is warning that the United States and Israel are very close to facing a crisis with a nuclear-arming Iran.

The 89-year-old Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that such a crisis — a full-fledged atomic war — would be "a turning point in human history," the BBC reported.

"There has emerged in the region, the current and most urgent issue of nuclear proliferation. For 15 years, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council [UNSC] have declared that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, but it has been approaching," he said.

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"In a few years, people will have to come to a determination of how to react, or the consequences of non-reaction.

"I believe this point will be reached in a very foreseeable future," he added.

Kissinger called for “serious” negotiations on both sides to avert the crisis. The most important thing, Kissinger said, was for the West to prevent letting things get so bad that Israel is forced to act alone.

"Unilateral intervention by Israel would be a desperate last resort, but the Iranians have to understand that if they keep using the negotiations to gain time to complete a nuclear programme then the situation will become extremely dangerous," he said.

If Tehran gets nuclear weapons, regimes across the Middle East and Africa will want them, too, Kissinger said.

"The danger is that we could be reaching a point where nuclear weapons would become almost conventional, and there will be the possibility of a nuclear conflict at some point... that would be a turning point in human history," he said.

"If Iran acts as a nation and not as a revolutionary cause, there is no reason for America or other permanent members of the UNSC [United Nations Security Council] to be in conflict with it, nor any countries in the region. On that basis I would hope that a negotiated solution would be found in a measurable time."

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