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Mideast can't afford new military conflict over Iran: Schroeder

Berlin, Jan 28, IRNA -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called once again for a diplomatic settlement of Iran's nuclear issue, saying the world could not afford a new military conflict in the Middle East, DPA quoted him as saying Friday at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos.

"We have truly enough conflicts in the region and we cannot afford another new conflict," said Schroeder, referring to the latest American military threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The German leader has repeatedly voiced strong opposition to a possible American military intervention in Iran.

"It must not get to the point where there is a military intervention," Schroeder said earlier this week in Berlin.

The chancellor has also made clear that a diplomatic solution to the crisis was still possible.

Only US, EU together can resolve Iran's nuclear programme - UK daily

London, Jan 28, IRNA - Neither the EU nor US will be able to resolve concerns about Iran's nuclear programme unless they act together, a leading British daily warned Friday.

The Financial Times issued its warning about the differing transatlantic approaches in a background where there was an "eerie resemblance to the noises" coming out of Washington throughout 2002 as it prepared to invade Iraq.

"The EU has pursued a policy of engagement, while the US does not have a policy so much as an attitude. Neither will get anywhere on its own," it said.

In its editorial, the paper dismissed the sense of US threats to attack Iran, saying that "military options look particularly sterile."

"Iran may be almost surrounded by US forces after the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, but Washington has its hands full in both these countries and Tehran has the capacity to make life difficult in each," it said.

"The US and the EU together need to devise compelling incentives and sanctions and enlist regional allies," the Financial Times suggested.

It said that to forswear the nuclear option "Iran needs security guarantees that ultimately only the US can provide." Any policy towards Iran needed to "address the legitimate security concerns that any government in Tehran would have," it said.

The editorial also proposed that the EU and US should back tentative discussion on regional security to build the Arab states in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council with both Iran and a sovereign Iraq.

"For that the second Bush administration would need to recognise the limits of US military power and revive its under-employed diplomacy. It will take the combined clout of the two to make any headway with Iran," it said.

... Payvand News - 1/28/05 ... --

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