Edwards: Iran Threat Serious
"Iran is serious about its threats," former US Senator John Edwards has told an audience in Israel.
"The challenges in your own backyard – represent an unprecedented threat to the world and Israel," the candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination told the Herzliya Conference, referring mainly to the Iranian threat.
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Hinting to possible military action, Edwards stressed that "in order to ensure Iran never gets nuclear weapons, all options must remain on table."
On the recent UN Security Council's resolution against Iran, Edwards said more serious political and economic steps should be taken. "Iran must know that the world won’t back down," he said.
Addressing the second Lebanon war , Edwards accused the Islamic Republic of having a significant role, saying Hizbullah was an instrument of Iran, and Iranian rockets were what made the organization's attack on Israel possible.
Edwards also discussed Syria's recent calls for peace with Israel, saying that "talk is cheap," and that Syria was not doing enough to prove it was serious.
The former senator also said that Syria has been a great source of destabilization in the area, from its support of Hizbullah and Hamas, to its relationship with Iran, and for this it should be held accountable.
After opening his speech with great praise for Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Edward's continued to express great appreciation for the Israeli people and the special bond between the two countries, saying it was "a bond that will never be broken."
On the three Israel Defense Force soldiers who are being held captive by Hizbullah in Lebanon and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, Edwards said, "It is well past time for their return home."
He continued to say that Israel has made many concessions in order to advance peace, including the Disengagement plan, adding that despite Israel's willingness to return to negotiations, little has been seen on the Palestinian side.
Edwards also spoke against the Palestinian Authority, saying the Hamas government was no partner, and that Israel should make efforts to strengthen Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas against Hamas.
He also said the Palestinian government must know that foreign aid should not be take for granted, and that the US and Europe must do everything possible to make sure the money does not go to terrorists.
Until Israel has a real partner, according to Edwards, Israel has the right, and indeed the obligation to defend itself, and should be strengthened militarily, politically, and economically.
In a further display of support for Israel, Edwards went so far as to suggest that Israel should even be made a member of NATO, saying it was only natural that the organization would seen to include Israel next.
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