HERZLIYA, Israel — Even if Iran acts rationally with nuclear weapons the nation would pose an unacceptable global threat, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata warned a packed session of the Herzliya Conference.
“Under its own nuclear umbrella . . . Tehran would be free to raise and lower the volume of regional tension as best suits its national interests,” he said. “With a nuclear Iran, the rules of the Middle Eastern game would not only change overnight; they would change irreversibly.”
Terzi went on to suggest, “In the end, however ‘regional’ the trigger, a nuclear crisis will always have a global impact. . . . Should Tehran acquire nuclear capabilities, others would follow and the Middle East — the very doorstep of Europe — would enter this new regional nuclear race.”
Addressing the ongoing bloodshed in Syria, he told Herzliya Conference participants: “We can no longer afford delays in our action. No example is better than Syria to remind us that the Assad regime and its allies do not necessarily act under similar constraints.
“We are witnessing the emergence of fast-rising economic and military powers, in different regions, which pursue their interest with the power of a State and the flexibility of a nonstate actor. These are decades of asymmetric diplomacy.”
Terzi, a former ambassador to the United Nations and to the United States, pointed to Israel as a regional stabilizer, stating that “Israel not only lies at their geographical center. It is also at their front line. As the dust settles, and room grows for new ideas, Israel will be the first and foremost engine of a new path toward a more secure and peaceful Middle East.”
The Herzliya conference is Israel’s leading security and policy conference and is in its 13th year.
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