Britain fears new Cold War over Iran

2012-02-18 08:03

London - Iran's nuclear ambitions could trigger "a new Cold War" more perilous than that between the West and the Soviet Union, British Foreign Secretary warned on Friday.

William Hague said Iran obtaining a nuclear bomb would spark an atomic arms race between rival Middle Eastern nations that could be more dangerous than the original Cold War because the old "safety mechanisms" are missing.

"If [the Iranians] obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons," he told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"The most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun with all the destabilising effects in the Middle East," he continued.

"And the threat of a new Cold War in the Middle East without necessarily all the safety mechanisms... would be a disaster in world affairs."

Iran faces four sets of UN sanctions and a raft of unilateral US and EU sanctions designed to halt a programme the West fears conceals a drive for nuclear weapons.

Tehran denies this charge, saying its nuclear project is for purely peaceful purposes.

In response to feverish speculation in recent weeks that Israel is preparing to mount a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear programme, Hague said Iran being "attacked militarily" would have "enormous downsides".

"We are very clear to all concerned that we are not advocating military action," he told the Telegraph.

"We support a twin-track strategy of sanctions and pressure and negotiations on the other hand."

"We are not favouring the idea of anybody attacking Iran at the moment," he added."

Earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton voiced cautious optimism about the prospect for Iran to return to stalled nuclear talks with six world powers.

In a February 14 letter to Ashton, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said Tehran is ready to resume talks at the "earliest" opportunity as long as the six powers respect its right to peaceful atomic energy.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-18 08:26

    Iran with nuclear bomb is worse than Juliarse Failema with a nuclear bomb ..... Very Bad Idea

      Jerzy - 2012-02-18 10:07

      This is so off topic. Who the hell is Failema, and if you are referring to Malema, I once again state, you are way the f!@# off topic. I can tell you are not happy in SA, so i recommend you move to Greece, Poland, Ireland or any of the "flourishing" EU countries. I hear its lovely out there.

      Passionate.Parrot - 2012-02-18 10:31

      Like you name for you know who. ha, fits perfectly.

      Wouter - 2012-02-18 12:29

      @Comrade - If there's one thing the Israelis are known for, it is pre-emptive strikes. The most sterling example would be Osirak back in 1981 with Iraq - almost exactly the same deal down to the letter. The Israelis will not allow Iran to even get close to becoming a nuclear power. They will bomb that powerplant long before completion.

      Wouter - 2012-02-18 12:43

      @Patrick - If the Middle-East granted all people, including their own citizens, the same freedoms as the citizens of western countries, maybe, just maybe, there would be support for the Middle-East's nuclear concerns.

      Gerhard - 2012-02-18 13:24

      Jerzy it beats me how anyone can defend Julius Malema.

      Spyker - 2012-02-18 14:24

      Jerzy.., Evidently you are not happy with SA either. You cannot cope (hint, hint) with your fellow SAcans, you have no tangible substance to present to a debate, so you simply wish people away. You, my feckless foe, are NO different to the fast fading Juliarse Failema, himself. So, here is a suggestion: why don't you move to Zimbabwe, Sudan, DRC, Madagascar, in fact anywhere else in Africa (excl Botswana - it has adopted European norms, so it is thousands of years ahead already and evidently you are not interested in living anywhere other than in the stone age). Send us a postcard from Zim.., oops, no wait, they have not invented the wheel yet. Mmmm - yes.., send a drum-bongo-code message with the Tokoloshe (you may find him parading below - if you can fix your illegal electricity connection, that is). I am tempted to ask you when last you have been in Europe, but you will simply tell a lie, so let me help you - Europe at its absolute worse, is still tens of thousands of years ahead, of what Africa can ever dream to be. SO DREAM ON...

      Spyker - 2012-02-18 14:43

      Israel understand the nature of the beast. Iran is simply vying for an artificial position on the global stage - a bit like Russia and South Africa. They seem to think that nuclear capability will 'buy' them such a position - ha, ha, ha... It is so overtly laughable, I would suggest that the bona fide 1st world just looks away for a week, then let Israel wipe the trash into the dustbin. Iran has NEVER contributed anything meaningful to the advancement of life on earth (much like Syria and Libya before late 2011) - its fundamental purpose has to be questioned accordingly. The biggest joke of it all = SA had full nuclear capabilities by the 1960's already. One of only five countries that could manage it at the time. This despite the fact that SA endured international sanctions - ie we managed it largely from a clean sheet, hence the reason SA has made the only meaningful nuclear power generating invention since.., well, Einstein - viz the PBMR (something that has subsequently been stolen by the USA - don't blame them, the ANC coerced the PBMR co back to the stone-age, by virtue of AA policies). Russia's economy id only the 11th largest in the world (ref IMF data) yet it is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. SA has a fake position as a member of the BRIC countries - note, it is only China that recognises this 'status', even the other members of BRIC ignore this inanity; more so the international financial community.

      Wouter - 2012-02-18 19:33

      @Patrick - I do feel the west is rightly concerned, but not about Iran attaining nukes and hence becoming a nuclear power and major player in the world. They're worried that Israel is going to blow up that power station the second they feel threatened, and that's a headache the UN's trying to avoid.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 01:50

      Israel's insecurities are largely internal (seeing as it has all the muscle and connections) or brought about by it's own belligerence.

      Johan - 2012-02-19 02:55

      Wouter, you talk about "....They will bomb that powerplant...." ??? Do you have any insight into the infrastructure Iran has developed in their nuclear programme? Obviously not, there are dozens of plants, some up to 70m undergrounds, some built in mountains, etc. It will take Israel weeks to just bomb them all and even then some will survive. I was in Iran in April last year, and go and educate yourself, Iran is not Iraq. It is a highly developed country, and although many Iranians do noit support the leaders, they are proudly Iranian and want nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. Who is the USA to prescribe to Iran/ Iran has not invaded or attacked another country in 300 years. We all know the USA track record. And they are the only country in the world ever to use nuclear weapons. And as for Israel.....come on.....they are a most oppressive regime. Maybe the USA and Israel should free the Palestinians and address human rights in Saudi Arabia first.

      Wouter - 2012-02-19 08:08

      @Johan – I’m not saying Iran is a provocateur for wanting Nuclear energy. I’m saying they’re making everyone nervous by going about it in the wrong way. If what you say is true about them building nuclear sites into mountains and underground, then obviously they’re protecting them against attack. Why? If I was trying to convince the world it was only for peaceful purposes I would build it right on the Israeli border. Iran might “not have invaded anyone in the last 300 years”, but they have threatened Israel before and share a neighborly wall with countries that have not been as magnanimous. As for Iran being highly developed, I can’t comment on infrastructure, but religiously following a law where beating a woman to death with stones is a just sentence for infidelity, well…where I come from that’s just considered pagan barbarism. A bit off topic I know, but my 2c worth.

  • Nibiru - 2012-02-18 08:33

    Where is fidel alias graziella and the azanian

      Anthony - 2012-02-18 09:59

      Plesae don't wake her up. I dont think I can handle another day, reading all this half baked pseudi intellectual BS

      Fidel - 2012-02-18 10:28

      Good morning to you too. You must really appreciate my posts Nibiru, do you work for News24. I must some how help dirve up traffic here by sticking it to jelly brained on this site. I shall be sending my banking details! You owe me!

      Nibiru - 2012-02-18 11:17

      @fidel(graziella) you work for Mossad

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 11:21

      I work for the "IRG".

  • lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 09:07

    well it seems that islam wants to bring about ww3... truly if the world acts against irahn russia who i promice you never got rid of theyre nukulear arsenal wil rise up and so will china. and the west will take up arms... so who will we support since the anc and china are thick as thieves?

      don.odendaal - 2012-02-18 09:21

      If that happens we wont need to support anyone as we will all be dead

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 09:27

      i doubt it i think there will be 3 main targets wich will be brittain usa and ireal by wich time they would of infiltrated irahn... i havent worked it out as i know nothing about warfare, but what i can tell you how ever is that the u.s. europe and isreal has the best intelegants services and stratigest in the world and i am sure they have counter mesures in place already in anticepation of this. that is if a ww is pending.

      Jerzy - 2012-02-18 10:11

      It seems christians started world war 1 and 2. Would you like them to start world war 3 as well, or can we give someone else a chance.

      Jerzy - 2012-02-18 10:13

      When you refer to "who will we support", are you still under the impression that "you are in charge". Please don't confuse AWB for ANC

      Jerzy - 2012-02-18 10:16

      Mr Kok, maybe they can send some of those "intelegants" to assist you with your spelling. Israel should be proud they have someone like you willing to give it all to defend their "democracy" and peace loving ways.

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 10:41

      dont try and turn this into a racial or religios isue jerzy, you are clearly racist, engels is ook nog niet eens mijn tweede taal, nederlands en afrikaans wel. out of the 5 i speak. what a little rant my word i realy got to you for standing up for my beliefs.

      The-Azanian - 2012-02-18 12:39

      lidz...hw blonde are you?

  • Traygon - 2012-02-18 09:27

    BS! Iran are 10 years away from actually making a nuke weapon, Israel - on the other hand has over 200 registered nukes... This warmongering is pathetic, Israel is the only one pushing for war. Like a little runt dog trying to get big dogs to fight what its afraid of. If Israel would stop being such an ass in that region, they would not be so paranoid of their neighbors. War is failure of government.

      Fred - 2012-02-18 09:47

      They're twelve months from a nuclear bomb once they convert intention into action. They haven't done this yet. It appears sanctions may have stopped that step from being take.

      Fred - 2012-02-18 09:48

      As to your comment about Israel warmongering, have you not heard the Iranian President declare he wants to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, and denying the occurrence of the Holocaust?

      Garth - 2012-02-18 09:55

      Hey ripvanwinkle, where you been the past 66 years? Asleep, stoned, not born yet? Since 1948, Israel has been in a state of perpetual war with its arab/muslim neighbours. Not all of them all of the time, but most of them all of the time. Then, there are the terrorist organisations funded by these lovely neighbours. Recount for all of us to read, please, the number of times that Israel has publicly stated that it desires the eradication from the face of the earth, all muslims and the countries in which they dwell. Then, after you have failed to render this, do some homework boy!

      Fidel - 2012-02-18 10:35

      Wow Fred, twelve months. Are you this prescient when buying lotto tickets?

  • Winston - 2012-02-18 09:48

    Couls some enlightened reader out there kindly inform me why it is that countries like Israel,England,USA,Russia etc.. are ALLOWED to have nuclear weapons but other countries are not. In other words who decides who can and who cant. "WHAT IS THE CRITERIA" ??

      Erick Bukula - 2012-02-18 09:56

      Those countries u cited hav stable government, not Iran

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 10:20

      @Erick Does russia mafia's have one? and what about Norway(the most stable country in the world)?

      Fidel - 2012-02-18 10:37

      The argument is that only western countries like the USA, France and Britain, led by paragons of restraint, probity and intellect like Bush, Reagan, Blair, Sarkozy and Cameron, can be trusted with nuclear weapons.

      Fidel - 2012-02-18 11:21

      @Erick How is the Iranian government not stable, who told you this, do you believe them? You are just spouting what you read or is being told by the media and I cant call you for that because I used to do the same. You have to break away from the propaganda that the elite feed you through the media that they OWN.. Always remember and question why do they want you thinking a certain way? Question whats in it for them? Why are they called Mad Mullahs, terrorists for defending their lands, homes, children and women folk? Question everything and educate yourselfs. Dont just accept your media that is owned by the elite, they are only peddling their propaganda for their own good never yours... People lie, and so do governments. Question everything!

      Anthony - 2012-02-18 11:55

      The problem is that Graziella's arguments are not only dishonest, but soo stale. It is the same as the radicals and exteremists in the world have been using for the last 40 years. The same 'conviction' , the same 'facts' the same 'questions', the same 'answers' Its a repeat, over and over and over and over again. They have never yet contributed to making this a better world. But have supported governments who caused missery to millions. There heros are dictators, tyrants, murderers and thugs. They support governments whose citizens crave for the freedom, these radicals so eagerly abuse. They support governments who would be in jail, if it was left over to the population to decide who they want to be their leaders They support a government like that of Iran, where the state has TOTAL CONTROL, not just with what one is allowed to read, to see on TV, BUT also to what to think !!! And than they even want to control of how one must dress and even what dolls to buy their kids. If these radicals would not be a threat to democratic soceities, they would be laughable, but as they know they will NEVER have any significient support, and would NEVER have ANY power, they will try by all means to shove their crazy ideas down our throat.

      Garth - 2012-02-18 11:55

      @Winston - probably because they were first! USA, USSR(then), Great Britain, France, China all amassed nuclear weapons as a defence against each other during the `cold war' era, post WW11. Then they decided that this was not a good thing and so decided to reduce their arsenals, whilst at the same time, deciding that it is not necessary for anyone else to develop nuclear armaments, and correctly so. Anyone advocating that it is the right of each and any country to bear nuclear arms is a fool. @fido - the ayatollahs and i'm-a-in-a-jihad stopped their infighting then? @ass-analian - Norway, the `most' stable country in the world, where do you get your ideas boy? And do not list another url, `one man's truth is another man's fiction.'

      Fidel - 2012-02-18 13:13

      "But have supported governments who caused missery to millions." Nobody can tell you what you must believe, but since you work so hard to point out the deficiencies of my argument, you implicitly obligate yourself to inspect the facts that would add devastating strength to your very own arguments!

      Anthony - 2012-02-19 08:43

      @Fidel, It is extremely difficult to argue with anyone who supports dictators, as they start thinking the same way as their heros. With radicals and exremists, there is no room for different points of view, and often they feel the need to "educate" the masses. It is somehow ironic that radicals want to make others believe, they are on the side of the oppressed, but at the same time they take the side of the oppressor!! One fundemental difference beteen you and me; In the last ten days, there have been two mass gathering in Damascus The first one when Sergey Lavrov and his Russian delegation came to see if they could talk any sense to this assad. There were thousands on the street of Damascus to "welcome" these heros. There were 7 year old kids waving Russian flags and many adults were going hysterical to show their support to the few friends assad has left. It somehow reminded me of the bizarre scenes we saw on the TV, at the funeral of kim Jong 11 Than this last Saturday, there was another mass gathering in Damascus. Again thousands of Syrians on the steet, but this time no flags and no children !!! They were there at a funeral procession for 3 Syrians shot dead by assad'd security forces. AGAIN, there were no weapons in sight, but assad'd dogs shot on them with live ammunition, murdering a few more of the opposition. Than this turned into a demonstration against the assad regime. Now , where you and me differ; Which one of these mass gatherings was genuine ?????

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 11:17

      You seem quick to go off at tangents and avoid any relevant, direct responses to the issue at hand.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 09:50

    The only way relief anger between war mongers is through the battlefield...I'm afraid that's going to happen sooner than we expected. I'll be preparing popcorns for this play. Can't wait to see who has a mouth bigger than their endowment.

  • lhfick - 2012-02-18 10:03

    But we have one too "Koeberg"!

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 10:17

      no problem...will only wipe out rich people Cape's exclusive sympathies will go to those in langa, cape flats, mitchells plain and khayelitsha.

      Anthony - 2012-02-18 10:48

      @The-Azanian Let just get this right; Three quarters of the ANC lesadership lives in the " Cape's exclusive suburbs " Is this your way to revive some life in these disfunctional parties, like the PAC and AZAPO ??????

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 11:05

      Well I don't give a F about ANC and neither DA...

      Anthony - 2012-02-18 12:01

      @The-Azanian, Ahhh, now I see, another looser. You cannot get an iota support ,through democratic means. Join the PAC or Azapo, they need your support, I think they got a membership drive at present to get their followers up to 25, by year end!!

  • Fidel - 2012-02-18 10:58

    Lets see Mr Hague, your country has just upgraded its trident system while you and your allies preach disarmament. There is no proof that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The Zionist-Apartheid Entity is a Nuclear Power of the first order. Seen in this context, one may intuit that some Iranians may hanker for the Dark Cold-War Logic of Mutually Assured Destruction, by way of a deterrence, MAD as it may seem to others. Iranian rulers are smart enough to know that giving nuclear technology will not stop Israel via its proxies to come up with other excuses and threats against Iran. Not as long as there are huge amounts of gas and oil sitting on Iranian subterranean. "Imagine, for a moment, that .. Sitting crosslegged on your Persian rug in Tehran, sipping a cup of chai, you glance up at the map .. your country, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies and regional rivals, both nuclear and non-nuclear. The map makes it clear: Iran is, literally, encircled by the United States and its allies." In terms of cold hard strategic logic, there is no country on earth as surrounded by enemies as Iran. The US Imperial Army is camped out on both Eastern (Afghanistan) & Western (Iraq) borders. To the North are oligarchic US allies & to the South are the decadent, dynastic & despotic Arab regimes - ALL in utter dread of the very NOTION of an Islamic Republic.

      Anthony - 2012-02-18 12:06

      I wonder why the Iranian population don't support their own government!! Or are you that blinded with your anti western hatred, that you believe the Iranians "LOVE" their leaders, like that fruitcake gaddafi !!!

      Garth - 2012-02-18 12:08

      You are seriously rabid. `In terms of cold hard strategic logic, there is no country on earth as surrounded by enemies as Iran.' You mean other than Israel then? And `chai' is Indian.

      Fidel - 2012-02-18 12:57

      Name calling is silly Garth! Personal insults only serve to concede defeat on the argument. You attempt to refute my argument by saying, in effect, that the Israelis are also surrounded, therefore this neither supports your point nor detracts from mine. @Anthony You seem happy with the deluded scenario you have created to define Iran, any new facts that crop up to disprove your perspective merely becomes an inconvinience that has to be ignored. I get the impression you are changing the facts to suite your argument.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 01:35

      Usually I woudn't respond to noneties like you, but today, and only today, and for the last time I will oblige you. You are a poor man's nectar. All the vitriol and none of the wit.

  • kusta.harris.noholoza - 2012-02-18 12:09

    How about all the countries with Nuclear weapons destroy all of them? Why should some countries have them and others can't? Double standards of the worst kind I tell you!

  • Paul - 2012-02-18 13:08

    Bizarre i was just looking on eBay at Cold War things and there's some real USSR ICBM Launch Keys for sale on there at the minute! Would love to buy them. Hopefully Iran stays cold aswell.

  • Bobo - 2012-02-18 16:31

    It`s not my job to verbally defend Isreal on a blog like this...I think they are verry capable to do it themselves if need be.

  • Anthony - 2012-02-19 08:44

    @Fidel, Let me commend you on your grasp of the English language. You once mentioned that this was your 3rd language. Wow, than well done. But "fancy" words don't equal "truth" As a matter of fact, many a times they are used to confuse!!!

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 11:12

      In other words, you don't have a credible response.

      Anthony - 2012-02-19 12:56

      I like your "new look" !!!

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 13:48


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