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Stopping Iran's Nuclear Menace

Stopping Iran's Nuclear Menace

The pursuit of nuclear weapons by the government in Iran threatens Iran's neighbors and the wider world, says Gregory Schulte, U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency. "Even without detonating a single nuclear weapon," said Mr. Schulte, "the mere possession of an atomic arsenal could encourage Iran's leaders to employ their conventional forces and step up terrorism to advance their regional ambitions."

In a speech in Munich, Germany, Mr. Schulte said it is imperative that Europe and the United States work together through resolute diplomacy to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. "A nonmilitary campaign, if serious and sustained, and supported by other like-minded countries," says Mr. Schulte, "has the potential to succeed against a regime that has failed to deliver on its economic promises, that needs foreign investment to sustain government revenue, and that faces increasing opposition at home."

Mr. Schulte praised the European Union's "swift action" in implementing U-N Security Council resolution seventeen thirty-seven. That resolution orders all member states to stop supplying Iran with materials or technology that can aid Iran's nuclear or ballistic missile programs. But, says Mr. Schulte, "the European Union and European countries can do more to bolster our common diplomacy. . . .Europe should be using the full range of non-military measures at its disposal. Why, for example," asks Mr. Schulte, "are European governments not taking more measures to discourage investment and financial transactions?"

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says that some European governments are concerned about "legal requirements." But, he says, there has been progress in the private sector:

"You see European as well as other international businesses making business decisions based on investment risk and reputational risk about whether or not they are going to finance or invest in Iran, a country that is now under [U.N.] Chapter Seven resolutions. So those are a set of decisions that are taking place outside of the discussions that we're having government to government."

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the U.S. will continue to work with countries to keep up the pressure on Iran. "That's to be expected given what's at stake. Iran getting a nuclear weapon," says Mr. McCormack. "Nobody wants that."