People’s Daily on Line – 2005-08-18 23:56:38
(Aug. 14, 2005) — German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Saturday spoke out against the war threat against Iran over its nuclear program.
Formally kicking off his reelection bid in his hometown of Hanover on Saturday, Schroeder said to the applause and cheers of 10,000 supporters, “Take the military option off the table — we have already seen it doesn’t work.”
His remarks came after US President George W. Bush told Israel TV in an interview that using force against Iran is an option, if the country fails to suspend its nuclear work to comply with the international demand.
Bush said if diplomacy failed to resolve the dispute with Iran, all options would be on the table.
Schroeder said calls for Iran to curtail its nuclear program would be far more credible if the countries which already had nuclear arms had done more to disarm in the past years, implicitly referring to the United States.
Germany is expected to hold an early general election on Sept. 18. Main parties, including Schroeder’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) and opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their junior partners have been gearing up with their campaign.
Schroeder’s anti-war stance reminded people of his staunch opposition to the US invasion into Iraq in 2002, when his anti-war effort made him narrowly win reelection as German chancellor.
Days ago, Iran announced it had resumed work at its uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, ignoring calls for suspension from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
EU heavyweights Britain, France and Germany have been holding talks with Iran to secure guarantees that Iran is not covertly developing nuclear weapons capability under the guise of civil operations.
Washington accuses Tehran of seeking to produce nuclear weapons. But Iran argues that it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.