Obama says attack on Iran risky, urges diplomatic fix

Press TV – February 6, 2012

US President Barack Obama has warned against the serious risks of a military campaign against the Islamic Republic and underlined diplomacy as the favored solution to the impasse over Iran’s nuclear issue.

Speaking in an interview with the NBC television network on Sunday, Obama said he did not believe Tehran had the intentions to attack the United States, dismissing Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s earlier claim that Iran is developing an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) that could reach the US East Coast.

“Any kind of additional military activity inside the Persian Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us. It could have a big effect on oil prices. We’ve still got troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran. And so our preferred solution here is diplomatic,” Obama said.

The remarks come as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged Western powers to make greater efforts to negotiate a solution to Iran’s nuclear case, warning that a military strike would result in a “disaster.”

“A military option will create a disaster in our region. So before that disaster, everybody must be serious in negotiations. We hope soon both sides will meet again, but this time there will be a complete result,” Davutoglu said during a speech at the 48 Munich Security Conference in Germany on Sunday.

“If there is strong political will and mutual confidence being established, this issue could be resolved in a few days,” he said, adding that, “The technical disputes are not so big. The problem is mutual confidence and strong political will.”

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khalid Mohamed al-Attiyah also urged the West to refrain from launching an attack on Iran, stressing that the Iranian nuclear dispute should be settled through dialogue and negotiations.

“[An attack] is not a solution; and tightening the embargo on Iran will make the scenario worse. I believe we should have dialogue,” al-Attiyah said.

“I believe that with our allies and friend in the West we should open a serious dialogue with the Iranians to get out of this dilemma. This is what we feel in our region,” he added.

Despite the widely publicized claims by the US, Israel and some of their European allies that Iran’s nuclear program may include a military aspect, Iran insists on its civilian nature, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has diverted towards nuclear weapons production.

This is while the Israeli regime is widely known to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads. Furthermore, Tel Aviv refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspectors and rejects any international nuclear regulatory agreements.

MP/GHN/HJL

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