Fartashphoto's Blog

Sawers: Diplomacy is not enough to stop Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on October 28, 2010

Diplomacy is not enough to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons, the head of Britain’s foreign spy service said Thursday, urging an “intelligence-led” approach to stopping nuclear proliferation.

In an unprecedented public speech, MI6 chief John Sawers said that intelligence activities were responsible for Iran’s admission last year of a second enrichment plant, which in turn led to tougher diplomatic pressure.

“Stopping nuclear proliferation cannot be addressed purely by conventional diplomacy. We need intelligence-led operations to make it more difficult for countries like Iran to develop nuclear weapons,” he said.

“The revelations around Iran’s secret enrichment site at Qom were an intelligence success. They led to diplomatic pressure on Iran intensifying, with tougher UN and EU sanctions, which are beginning to bite,” Sawers said.

“The Iranian regime must think hard about where its best interests lie.”

He added: “The risks of failure in this area are grim…. And the longer international efforts delay Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons technology, the more time we create for a political solution to be found.”

Sawers’ speech was the first public address by a head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), as MI6 is officially known, and marked his first year in the role. He was previously the British Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 2007 to November 2009.

Sawers headed the British team in the EU-3 negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, utilizing his scientific background on nuclear matters.

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