Germany condemns Mideast violence

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German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (AP photo)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Iran must stop stalling over its suspected drive to build a nuclear weapon, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said Friday at the United Nations General Assembly.

Westerwelle said Iran must open its nuclear program to international inspection.

“Israel’s security is at stake. Indeed, stability in the entire region is at stake,” Westerwelle said. “However, this is also about averting the risk of a nuclear arms race with unforeseeable consequences for international security.

“I call on Iran to stop playing for time. The situation is serious.”

Israel, the U.S. and Western allies contend that Iran’s claims that its nuclear program is peaceful are just a smoke screen.

“We still await a serious response from Iran,” he said. “We want a political and diplomatic solution. Time is short.”

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Thursday that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb by next summer and urged the world to draw a clear “red line” to stop it in its tracks.

Netanyahu flashed a diagram showing the progress Iran has made toward creating a bomb. He said Iran had already completed the first stage of uranium enrichment, and then he drew his own red line on the diagram to highlight the point of no return – the completion of the second stage and 90 percent enrichment.

Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador took the floor at the General Assembly late Thursday to categorically reject Israel’s “entirely baseless allegations,” insisting that the country’s nuclear program is purely peaceful.

Eshagh Al Habib accused Netanyahu of using “an unfounded and imaginary graph” to justify a military threat against Iran.

“Iran is strong enough to defend itself and reserves its full right to retaliate with full force against any attack,” he said.

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