Afghanistan – Worth the Sacrifice + 2009 is going to be a very important year for the Iranian issue

compiled by Cem Ertür
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
12 November 2008

excerpt from UK defence secretary John Hutton: “Afghanistan – Worth the Sacrifice

On Tuesday 11th November 2008 Rt. Hon John Hutton MP, Secretary of State for Defence, addressed the International Institute for Strategic Studies on Afghanistan

Terrorism is a constant threat. One that actually cannot be understated. Wished away or appeased.  Now it has to be confronted. Wherever and whenever it threatens our security here at home. That is why we have 8000 troops in Afghanistan.

And to those who say that we can never succeed, that we should walk away and accept defeat, I say simply this: the victims of that kind of defeatism would be the British people. We would have abandoned our ability to tackle terrorism at source. And we would then have to deal with it here on our own streets.


excerpt from ‘Speech given by the Prime Minister to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at the Guildhall

by Gordon Brown, 10 November 2008

And we will support the Afghan and Pakistan governments in working together to tackle the security issues across the border which the last decade has shown are crucial to our own security at home. Afghanistan is a test the international community cannot afford to fail. And we will not fail.


excerpt from ‘UK Foreign Secretary Miliband on Andrew Marr Show

Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, was interviewed in the Andrew Marr show on Sunday 9 November on Obama’s election and foreign policy issues.

DM: … [T]his is in the end about making Afghanistan safe for its own people from Taliban and therefore from entry by Al Qaeda, but also thereby making us safe.

AM:  Iran.  Inconceivable that there would be a sudden attack before there’s a change of presidency.

DM:  Well I think that we, and by that I mean the Americans as well as European countries and China and Russia, are a hundred per cent focused on a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian problem.  The Iranian problem, let’s be absolutely clear, is that the Government of Iran is in defiance of five UN Security Council resolutions.  It’s in defiance of the International Atomic Energy Authority as well.  Why?  ‘Cause we can not, because they have not been able to show that their intentions in respect of nuclear power are purely civilian.

The danger from Iran is that the pursuit of a nuclear weapon by that country triggers an arms race in the Middle East and for all the problems in the Middle East the last thing it can stand is an, is a nuclear arms race.  And so the stakes are very high.

2009 is going to be a very important year for the Iranian issue and the ball is in the Iranian court.  We, along with the Americans, have made a very clear offer to Iran, economic benefit, civilian nuclear power benefit is on the table if you suspend your programme that is leaking in to a nuclear weapons programme, that is why the stakes are so high.

AM:  And to be absolutely clear, you said a hundred per cent focus on a diplomatic solution.  So before January the 20th, no kind of attack, nothing, nothing because there’s been this talk as you know of President Bush wanting to finish this business before he leaves.

DM:  President Bush and Condoleezza Rice decided to send the most senior American diplomat to the talks process that was held with allies from Europe and Russia and China with the Iranians.  That was a very significant acknowledgement that it is the diplomatic track that needs to work.  But the ball is in the Iranian court.  They are in defiance of successive UN Security Council resolutions.  The situation is serious, because the whole Arab world, never mind Israel, are extremely concerned about the nuclear weapon pretensions of Iran.

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2 thoughts on “Afghanistan – Worth the Sacrifice + 2009 is going to be a very important year for the Iranian issue

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