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Obama to face Iran nuclear crisis in first year, ex US official warns

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Friday, Jan 9, 2008

Incoming US President Barack Obama will likely face a “serious crisis” over Iran’s nuclear ambitions in his first year in office, former US defense secretary William Perry predicted here Thursday.

Perry, speaking at a forum offering advice to the new administration, also said both Iran and North Korea must be contained to avoid a “cascade of nuclear proliferation” in the Middle East and northeast Asia.

Iran, in particular, presents not only a direct threat to Israel but the world at large through the spread of nuclear technology to terrorist groups, he told the forum sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace.

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Perry said North Korea’s production of plutonium and nuclear test in 2006 amounted to the “most dangerous development” since the Cold War ended nearly two decades ago, but he believed it could be contained through diplomacy.

But he said he was “less confident” about diplomatic efforts involving the United States — under the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush — European countries, Russia and China.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The talks “are going nowhere,” said Perry, who was defense secretary under President Bill Clinton.

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This article was posted: Friday, January 9, 2009 at 4:28 am

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