War or Change of Regime

BERLIN/TEHERAN (Own Report) | | iran

BERLIN/TEHERAN (Own Report) German and US government officials are discussing the tactical variant of possible aggression against the United Nations member Iran. On the occasion of a meeting, arranged by the financial corporation Deutsche Bank at the beginning of June in Berlin, an American source stated that ,,a clash between the USA and Germany, which would be more serious than that about Iraq", would have to be avoided under all circumstances in case of an action against Teheran. While conservative of Berlin's parliamentary opposition warn against military interventions, a government representative of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Lower House of Parliament (Bundestag), speaks out in favour of German-American NATO activities against Teheran.

According to a report from the meeting in Berlin, the SPD war hawks around Hans-Ulrich Klose (acting chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Lower House and chairman of the German Association for Asian Studies) intend to utilise a possible armed action against Iran to ,,revive"NATO. The former German defence minister, Rühe (CDU) warns against ,,unilateral moves"and pleads for a ,,dialogue with Teheran".

Differences of interests

The main speaker, Robert M. Kimmitt, former US Ambassador to Germany and presently working for media company AOL Time Warner, emphasised in Berlin, that material differences of interests exist between the Federal Republic of Germany and the USA. For example, Washington has had neither economic nor diplomatic relations with Teheran. In contrast, Berlin claims contacts reaching back more than 100 years. However, it is decisive that Teheran could be accused of ,,aiding terrorism"and ,,nuclear armament". Kimmitt suggests that, considering the potential consequences, consensus should be reached after German-US negotiations, including an ,,intensive transatlantic dialogue".

Ethical mission

In view of the increase in German exports which reached 15.9 percent last year, the Berlin representatives of non-military sectors of industry reject current military interventions and support a course of ,,democratisation and opening of discourse"with Iran. Also at stake were ,,questions of human rights", as former Secretary of State, Ludger Volmer, outlined Berlin's policy two years ago. German foreign policy activates its well-known ethical pretexts in view of the current unrest in Teheran. Berlin's foreign minister stated on Monday that he hopes for a ,,change"in Iran. It was stated during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that Iran must also change its nuclear policy. As a result, significant elements of the backdrop for intervention, which had prepared the collapse of Iraq, were reactivated.

Sources:
Recapturing the Spirit of Marshall and Brandt, Speech by Ambassador Robert Kimmitt, 2003 Bundestag Forum on the United States; www.gmfus.org
Als nächstes Iran?; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 13.06.2003
EU zieht bei Massenvernichtungswaffen Gewalt in Betracht; reuters 16.06.2003