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Ambassador McDonald: 'Iranian Nuclear Weapons Will Threaten European Union Destabilizing Middle East & The World'

'E.U. Hopes For Indefinite Suspension Of Iran's Uranium Enrichment; We're A Long Way From Military Action Against Iran'

'Israel's Disengagement Must Lead To Forward Momentum on Roadmap'

Brittish Ambassador McDonald

British Ambassador Simon McDonald says Tehran is seeking to renew its uranium enrichment program but the E-3 (Britain, France & Germany) is talking a tough stand in negotiations with the Iranians. In an address to Israel's Council on Foreign relations in Jerusalem, the Ambassador warned that Iran's drive for nuclear weapons is the world's #1 problem. On the Israeli Palestinian, the British diplomat said things were looking up in light of Israel's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in Samaria. However he added that Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan must lead to further movement.

:: IsraCast Audio ::

'If Iran acquires a nuclear device, it has the missile technology to deliver that device deep into the European Union. 'The warning comes from Britain's Ambassador to Israel Simon McDonald. He went on to say that Iranian nuclear weapons would be profoundly destabilizing for the region and the world.

Iranian Missiles

In Geneva recently, the Iranians told the E-3 (Britain, France & Germany) that they wanted to revive the agreement on the conversion of uranium, but in fact the only reason for doing so is to enrich uranium (for use in a nuclear weapons program). The E-3 took a tough stand against this and the negotiations are to continue. Meanwhile the ambassador said the Iranians had not started to convert uranium again. McDonald added that the E.U. seeks an indefinite suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment.

Disengagement: Britain and the E.U. fully supported Sharon's disengagement plan and reforms in the Palestinian Authority. Ambassador McDonald has just made his first tour of the Gaza Strip where he said: 'Things are looking up and the Palestinians are beginning to understand that the Israelis are about to go'. He noted there were a lot of new cars on the streets of Gaza - he was told that most of them were actually Israeli vehicles stolen by Palestinian car thieves. (The Palestinian Authority even puts a special symbol on the stolen cars.) McDonald went on to say that the disengagement must lead for forward momentum and further movement. The Roadmap was now on the table as well as U.S. President Bush's vision of two independent states, Israel and Palestine living in peace. He noted that although Israel was to implement a unilateral disengagement, a bilateral agreement must be the result of future negotiations.

Northern Ireland: Britain has always adopted a tough stand against IRA terrorism in Northern Ireland, refusing to negotiate with Sinn Fein as long as terror attacks continued. IsraCast asked McDonald if Britain would support Prime Minister Sharon's demand that the Palestinian Authority dismantle Hamas and the other terror organizations before starting out on the Roadmap. The Ambassador replied that there were secret contacts with Sinn Fein early on and even today the IRA has not been disarmed six years after the Good Friday Agreement and after there is peace on the ground. As for Britain and the E.U. both view Hamas as a proscribed organization and do not maintain contacts with it.

David Essing

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