Deutsche Welle's Peter Philipp urged in an editorial that Europe should continue using diplomacy to defuse the conflict over Iran's nuclear program. DW-WORLD readers were divided over the issue.
Has diplomacy run its course?
The problem lies with the so-called 'European diplomacy' of France and Germany. War is an absolute last resort. But in order for diplomacy to succeed, it should remain a viable option. Iraq was able to toy with the UN for more than 12 years because its leaders never imagined coalition forces would set foot in Baghdad. The leaders of countries like Iran were sent a clear message last year that lack of cooperation with UN Security Council resolutions can result in their swift and decisive removal from power. Had countries like France and Germany backed the coalition forces in the Iraq war, Iran would not be playing the nuclear games it plays today. 'European diplomacy' has only succeeded in encouraging Iran to disregard the international community's concerns. -- Eric Amat y Leon, United States
Europe's approach to Iran is fitting, because the production of centrifuges does not necessarily suggest the building of nuclear bombs. America's aggressive "guilty till proven innocent attitude" does not encourage trust and honesty between countries, which in light of the instability in the Middle East is something that needs to be fostered. America has done an incredible amount of damage to relations in this region; We certainly do not need to put Iran off-side as well. Find the evidence then take action. We do not need a repeat of the Iraqi crisis. Good luck to Germany, France and Britain. -- Jo Vagg, Australia
So, what now Germany? When can we Americans expect to come to the rescue after Iran has nuclear weapons, like North Korea. North Korea created their nuclear weapons right under the noses, literally, of the UN inspectors. Shall we continue to travel down failed paths that led to more trouble? In fact, America will simply be glad to work with Israel, Iran's first target, on missile defense to defend against nuclear missiles. We will continue to fight the terrorists who have declared war on us. Then Germany and France can lead the rest of the wimps of the world toward mutual destruction and we will reap the benefit of knowing that, at least, we tried to warn you all. Wake up Germany, before it's too late. If it isn't already. -- Lee DePue, United States
Should Europe abandon its policy of engaging Iran to comply with the US position of increased pressure and sanctions? No, it should not abandon it. Iran is not our enemy and a healthy EU-Iran relationship is beneficial to all of us. It will make the world safer, more prosperous, more stable. Just because the current US regime -- which has been disgraced numerous times internationally -- thinks Iran is their enemy (and does not try the diplomatic course) is not reason to abandon an independent policy. If anything, it is reason for Europe to show it is an independent power and can have different policies than the US regime's. -- Patrick Wall
By all means, Europe, be more aggressive and take military action. By the way, do you even have a military? Then maybe (US filmmaker) Michael Moore will move to Germany and start making derogatory films about your country and your leaders. (German Foreign Minister) Joschka Fischer's remarks have Americans laughing so hard it hurts -- and Iran must be laughing even harder. Pretty good for the "America hater" to make threats he fully intends for his hated America to stand behind.
-- Andrew F
So, Herr Fischer, what are you actually going to do about it? Perhaps 12 years' worth of resolutions in the UN could help dissuade them from developing nuclear weapons. After all, Iraq responded so well to them. Maybe you should not have sold them the technology to build them in the first place and left it up to us to clean up after you once again. -- Michael Hofke, United States
I think Iran has the right to continue its nuclear program, and even if it's developing a nuclear bomb you can't blame them, because the EU big three and the US have it too. And since Israel is threatening Iran with its nuclear bomb, Teheran would definitely be concerned. The best thing to do is have Bush and other countries get rid of their bombs FIRST.
Diplomacy will not resolve the problem. Europe does not want to admit that oil-rich Iran is not interested in a peaceful nuclear program. Europe despises Bush's accurate assessment of Iran, but they do not have the guts to admit it.
-- Frank Shipp
The Iranian nuclear program must be seen in the context of the nuclear misbalance in the Middle East. Presently, Israel is the only Middle Eastern nuclear power and a direct threat to Iran. The US Armed Forces also put pressure on Iran from Afghanistan and Iraq. Under these circumstances it is natural that Iran will feel reluctant to open up their program to the international community. This is sad, but I think the problem of Iran cannot be solved as long as we don't adequately address the nuclear capability of Israel. Europeans should encourage the entire Middle East region to become nuclear-free, and perhaps we should start at home with France and the UK. -- Atilla A Iftikhar