German FM: Nuclear Iran "not an option"


German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle makes statements to the press at the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens on January 15, 2012.


Louisa Gouliamaki

German Foreign Minister Guide Westerwelle today said a nuclear-armed Iran is "not an option," demanding Tehran provide "substantial offers" for talks if it is really serious about resolving the nuclear problem diplomatically, reported Reuters

Westerwelle told reporters before talks with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem that "this means that talks for the sake of talks is not what we are seeking."

"And therefore, we call the government in Iran to come back to the table with substantial offers, which is very necessary and very crucial at this time," he added, according to Reuters

The Islamic Republic insists its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, but Western countries fear it is being used to make a bomb. They have ratcheted up economic pressure on the country in recent months, including a crippling EU oil embargo that took effect on July 1. 

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Westerwelle joined other European Union foreign ministers in Cyprus this weekend for a meeting on Iran which concluded with the possibility of additional sanctions due to a lack of progress on talks, reported India's Economic Times.

The German FM had openly called for more sanctions on the Islamic Republic on the sidelines of the event.