Italian FM: Nuclear armed Iran is ‘unacceptable’

Rome, (The Associated Press) The possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is “unacceptable” and Italy will stand by the international community if more sanctions against Tehran are proposed, the foreign minister said Thursday.

Massimo D’Alema, however, insisted efforts for a negotiated solution to the crisis should continue.

“The prospect of Iran … acquiring nuclear weapons is unacceptable for the international community,” Massimo D’Alema said during a conference on nonproliferation also attended by the chief of the U.N. nuclear agency, Mohamed ElBaradei.

“Italy has implemented the sanctions, the resolutions as well as restrictions decided by the European Union and we’ll continue to do our part, convinced as we are that it’s indispensable to preserve the cohesion of the international community,” D’Alema said.

As of this year, Italy is on the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent member.

But while necessary, sanctions will not be enough, the minister said.

He called for a political strategy to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table, and said one way would be to involve Iran in a broad dialogue over regional security and stability.

“Starting such a dialogue … is perhaps the way to stop a spiraling situation,” D’Alema said, adding that the use of force is an option “that nobody today feels able to contemplate, given the uncontrollable consequences this could have not only in Iran but on the whole region.”

ElBaradei spoke of the risks of nuclear proliferation, calling on the international community to address the causes at the root of the drive toward weapons of mass destruction, such as instability and insecurity. He said citizens should be involved in campaigns against nuclear proliferation.

“It’s about time that they understand security is the highest priority they can engage in,” he said.

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