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Kissinger speaks on Iran, European-Russian relations and EU's political future

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Kissinger speaks on Iran, European-Russian relations and EU's political future

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Once the world’s most powerful diplomat, Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State, has been back in Brussels, one of his old stomping grounds in the days of shuttle diplomacy.

EuroNews asked him for his insights into the current tensions with Tehran, relations with Russia and the European Unions political future.

Sergio Cantone – Brussels Correspondent, EuroNews

“Dr Kissinger, welcome to EuroNews. Let’s talk about Iran. Do you think that the United States and the international community will have to engage (in dialogue with) Iran?”

Henry Kissinger – Former US Secretary of State

“We have to make sure we have exhausted every possibility to come to an understanding with Iran. I also don’t believe that there is a national conflict between Iran and the United States. The United States has no reason to be opposed to a strong and prosperous Iran. What we would oppose is an attempt by any country, including Iran, to dominate the Middle East. And the nuclear weapons issue is not aimed at Iran as such but at the general condition of the world.”

EuroNews

“Yes, but Iranian officials are saying that they are not producing a nuclear weapon, but that they want to have this just for civil purposes.”

Kissinger
“Yes, but every country that builds nuclear weapons states that when they are building them. A point is being reached where the further spread of nuclear weapons, is a danger to the international system as such, and so the line has to be drawn somewhere. And this is now a reason around the issue of Iran. But I would apply that in any other situation.”

EuroNews

“When it comes to the relations between the European Union, Europe and the United States, we can also see some different points of views as far as relations with Russia are concerned. For instance, we have problems with this missile shield. What do you think about it?”

Kissinger

“I am very reluctant to admit the proposition that a defence on European territory, which the Russians can always overwhelm, is a threat to the survival of Russia. And I can understand the Russian position on NATO expansion into new territories. But I am disappointed that they are making such an issue of the missile defence in Poland and the Czech Republic. And I am also frankly disappointed in some of the European reactions.”

EuroNews

“Don’t you think that these European countries need Russia, especially for their energy supplies?”

Kissinger

“It is partly because they need Russia, partly because there’s sort of a romantic attitude towards Russia in some countries. And it is partly because over the years, a sort of an anti-American group has developed in each country so that every time an issue like that comes up, they take the reactions almost by instinct.”

EuroNews

“Do you think that the European Union has a future as a political union?”

Kissinger

“It is of course a very difficult task to design a political entity that extends from Bulgaria to Denmark and to get a common policy. But at the time that I was Secretary of State, there was no point of organisational identity, with which we could deal. And so I was reported to have said that I didn’t know the telephone number to call. I am not sure I ever said that, but I now think this is such a good line, why shouldn’t I agree to it?”

EuroNews

Did you find (the telephone number) or not?

Kissinger

“But now, not only do we have a telephone number but it is getting better and better organised and it isn’t as it used to be that every individual step had to be approved by ministers. Now, Solana has a greater flexibility. So, I think the European Union is moving in a positive direction. So yes, one would hope that the European countries feel the danger comparably (in the same way) to the United States. But I don’t think we are in a crisis. There are now going to be elections in France, there are going to be elections in America. There is already a new government in Germany. And I think that when all these processes are completed, there will be a good opportunity to move rapidly towards close consultation.”