There are signs that development of the nuclear program would create a ‘domino effect’ of moderate states that oppose Iran but actively appease it, starting a regional race for nuclear armament.
FM Livni meets with Chinese leaders (30 Oct 2007):
"The international community cannot afford a nuclear Iran. It is not only the express threat to Israel. When Iran’s leader talks about wiping a country off the map, denies the Holocaust and undermines the stability of regimes in the region, the world must react. China, as a central player in the international arena, has an important role in this. China does business in Iran, it has an influence on Iran and it is a permanent member of the Security Council.
"Iran is testing the response of the world, and the states bordering Iran are also looking on. Hesitation in this matter is looked upon by the Iranian regime as weakness, and the moderate states in the region will try to appease Iran instead of fighting it, in order to reduce the danger to themselves. In order for the diplomatic steps to be more effective – and there are signs that the steps taken until now have been effective – the time has come to take stronger measures, more meaningful and immediate action. That is the only way to tip the balance and to influence Iran’s nuclear policy. Whoever is wary of taking violent action against Iran should be the first to support sanctions and a firm, consistent diplomatic policy. Time is not working in the world’s favor.
"A nuclear Iran would upset the stability of the Middle East and could lead to unexpected consequences for the regular supply of oil to the world, including to China, and to strengthening radical, isolationist elements on every continent.
"There are also signs that development of the nuclear program would create a ‘domino effect’ of moderate states that oppose Iran but actively appease it, starting a regional race for nuclear armament. While we are talking and the international community is holding meetings on the topic, Iran is taking advantage of the time to achieve know-how and technology. Iran’s technological clock is working faster than the political clock opposing it. The decisive moment is not the day of the explosion but rather whenever they acquire the requisite technology – and the time needed to acquire the technology is significantly shorter than the time needed to acquire the bomb.
"The Security Council should include in its sanctions actions against the Iranian banks and the Revolutionary Guards, prohibition of foreign investments in Iran and cessation of foreign trade insurance.
"China, as a permanent member of the Security Council, plays a critical role in decision-making and should act accordingly. Reluctance now to increase the pressure on Iran will make it impossible to solve the issue diplomatically. Increasing the sanctions will prevent further deterioration in the region."
Minister Livni stressed the need to prevent proliferation of nuclear technology to Iran by all countries, including the Asian states.
Address by FM Livni at People’s University, Beijing (29 Oct 2007):
Extremism manifests itself in many ways. The threat can evolve from state actors or other forms. As a state actor – we witness how a state, a member of the United Nations, like Iran, seeks weapons of mass destruction, violates Security Council’s resolutions, supports terrorism world wide, and at the same time calls for the destruction of Israel, a fellow member of the United Nations.
Behind almost every conflict that we have in the Middle East, one can see the long arms and shadow of Iran – the cause for the domestic instability in Lebanon is Hizbullah, the terror organization which is Iran’s proxy; in the Palestinian territories Hamas and other terrorist organizations are being supported by Iran, and in Iraq – all of these areas carry Iran’s finger prints all over them – in financing, training and arming terrorist organizations.
If this dangerous regime, that wants to dictate its extreme religious ideology to others, masters the technology of developing nuclear weapons – the fragile stability that we are trying to build in the Middle East will vanish. A "domino effect" of nuclear arms race by states and radical elements will begin, and the pragmatic regimes in the region will be undermined.
This understanding is shared by Israel and the pragmatic states in the region. We are together in the need to stop that threat.
The world can not afford such scenario. Leaders, nations, business sectors and the academic circles, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to prevent it. We must rise above national interests or economical considerations and think about the grave implications that a nuclear Iran will have on the stability of this planet.
Joint press conference with PM Olmert and British PM Gordon Brown (23 Oct 2007):
It is time for the international community to step up the efforts to make sure that the Iranians understand the absolute determination of the nations of the world to prevent them from acquiring nuclear capacity. I think that the economic sanctions can be effective, I think they were already effective. I think that if they will be stepped up by the international community it will increase the effectiveness and may yield very important results and I congratulate you for your determination and leadership in not just supporting it but in making it very explicit and clear-cut speaking for Great Britain on this very important issue.
I am encouraged because I heard similar words yesterday from President Sarkozy and I am very happy that both you and him are leading this policy together with the United States of America and I hope these other European countries.
Economic sanctions are effective. They have had an important impact already, but they are not sufficient, so there should be more. Up to where? Up until Iran will stop its nuclear program.
Joint Press Conference with FM Tzipi Livni and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (17 Oct 2007):
I believe that there’s a need for another Security Council resolution. In the past, the need to get everybody on board including Russia and China has led to some compromises on the nature of the sanctions. I hope this will not be the case this time. And I believe that the world understands that it cannot afford a nuclear Iran, an Iran with a nuclear weapon. And the Prime Minister went to meet President Putin to discuss regional and bilateral issues of importance.
Address by President Shimon Peres at opening of winter session of Knesset (8 Oct 2007):
The leading government nurturing terror and financing it with money and weapons is Iran, with Ahmadinejad at its head.
I am not stating this with pleasure. We have known different periods with the people of Persia. The Declaration, for example, of Cyrus, 2500 years ago, preceded the Balfour Declaration. It enabled the Jews to return to their homeland.
Instead, Ahmadinejad now calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and he is unable to hide these intentions even by lies, just as he denies the Holocaust. He denies the suppression he is enforcing in his country, the brutal suppression of citizens’ rights; of public executions, including the execution of young people accused of homosexuality; the stoning of women, the cutting off of limbs, the imprisonment of intellectuals, the closing of newspapers, the harming of national minorities, including the specially brutal persecution of the Bahai. He nurtures hatred among people and religions in the name of the violent culture of jihad. And all this when unemployment in Iran is rising and drug trafficking is flourishing.
The present Iranian leadership is publicly declaring its intention to promote the Islamic-Shi’ite revolution, not only in the Muslim world but in the entire world.
It is openly building an arsenal of long-range missiles and, secretly, nuclear weapons. For there is no purpose in investing such huge amounts of money in these expensive missiles if they only bear conventional warheads.
Not in vain did the Ayatollah Zahni say (in April 2006), “No one can lead the country to death and destruction in the name of nuclear energy.”
The Iranian leadership is maintaining the Hizbullah in order to defeat the independent Lebanon and to turn it into an Iranian satellite. It established the Islamic Jihad and supports the Hamas in order to destroy the peace process which is taking place between Israel and the Palestinians and to create, in its stead, a great tumult so that the Palestinians will also serve the Iranian appetite instead of the Palestinian destiny.
Unfortunately, there are those who claim that negotiations should be conducted even with a tyrannical regime. Chamberlain was of this opinion when he flew to negotiate with Hitler and returned to London where he was received as a hero of peace; in so doing, he, unintentionally, helped Hitler cover his true intentions – to conquer Europe and rule it with German order for 1,000 years, to build concentration and death camps and to harm the Europeans, the Russians and, above all, the Jews. The entire world paid a terrible price in blood because it was blinded by Hitler’s deceit and lingered in calling the great lie by its name.
Columbia University was recently also confused and did not make a clear distinction between academic freedom and organized lying. The university must turn to its guest and demand, in the name of academic freedom, to invite an Israeli spokeperson to present the full truth to Iranian ears.
Ahmadinejad, in his words, distorted the present truth and falsified the historical truth. He claimed, for example, that the Jews returned to Israel at the expense of the Arabs. He ignored the fact that there were Jews in Israel before the Arabs and that they were expelled from it by force. Is the historical right of 14 centuries greater than the historical right of 21 centuries? Is priority given only to the one who comes later?
If Iran attains nuclear weapons, they are likely to reach terrorists, because Iran is also the center of global terror. The world will then become a chaos.
Harvard University has recently published its annual report on the nuclear agency. According to it, on the one hand, the safety measure of nuclear arsenals have increased, but, on the other hand, components of nuclear weapons are now to be found in hundreds of buildings scattered among 40 countries which aim at attaining nuclear weapons. The terrorists do not hide their intentions of attaining nuclear weapons, even of a primitive quality and they are looking for uncontrolled sources, which are scattered in many places in the world.
It is an urgent obligation to refute the Iranian lies. These lies are so obvious in their distortion that they are self-destructive. The ludicrous lie, for example, that in Iran there are no homosexuals, or the lies that the Iranian woman enjoys equal rights and the lie that all Iranian citizens enjoy civil rights.
During the past year alone, 527,255 women were thrown into jail on the accusation of immodest dress. Two women were even publicly stoned to death. Two hundred and fifty hangings took place in the squares of Iranian cities for all to see. Hundreds of student leaders were arrested; 44 newspapers were closed. The positions of many student organizations were outlawed. This was preceded by the death sentence of Salman Rushdie, because he wrote a book which the rulers did not approve of.
The big lie is Ahmadinejad’s declaration that Iran does not intend to produce a nuclear bomb. All the intelligence services in the world are convinced without any doubt that Iran is energetically working at attaining nuclear weapons. It is investing enormous sums in building reactors and centrifuges, not because it does not have sufficient other sources of energy, for it has a wealth of oil and gas.
And again, with impudence, Ahmadinejad declares that Iran is aiming for peace, whilst Iran is the greatest terrorist center in the world today. It arms and promotes the greatest number of terrorists in the world and it established the revolutionary guards whose only aim is to strengthen terror and disseminate it.
Ahmadinejad proposed that a world referendum be conducted to find out if there is a need for a Jewish state. Is he ready, likewise, that a referendum be conducted to find out if the world needs an Ahmadinejad?
Ahmadinejad pretends that he wishes to research the Holocaust. For someone who travels a lot in the world, it would not be difficult to visit the death camps and to see with his own eyes that which he denies.
He justifies the firing of missiles from Gaza onto civilian targets in Israel, because of the so-called "occupation". But Israel left Gaza completely. There are no Israelis, no soldiers, no settlers, no citizens in the Gaza Strip. And the Hamas are firing Kassam rockets, which Iran is helping them to build, in order to destroy the chances of peace and make way for an Iranian hegemony in the Middle East.
The aim of the lie is to conceal the true evil intentions. I hope that this deceit of the “leader” will not succeed in sprinkling sand in the eyes of the world. Sooner or later a new Churchill or a collective Churchill will save the world before it is too late.
Address by FM Livni to the UN General Assembly (1 Oct 2007):
No responsible state disagrees that Iran is the most prominent sponsor of terrorism. It is a major source of instability and conflict in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and across the entire Middle East, and it is the enemy of Arab-Israeli co-existence.
None disagrees that Iran denies the Holocaust and speaks openly of its desire to wipe a member state – mine – off the map. And none disagrees that, in violation of Security Council resolutions, it is actively pursuing the means to achieve this end.
But there are still those who, in the name of consensus and engagement, continue to obstruct the urgent steps which are needed to bring Iran’s sinister ambitions to a halt. Too many see the danger but walk idly by – hoping that someone else will take care of it. What is the value, we have to ask, of an organization which is unable to take effective action in the face of a direct assault on the very principles it was founded to protect?
It is time for the United Nations, and the states of the world, to live up to their promise of never again. To say enough is enough, to act now and to defend their basic values.