- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2007

‘Threat to the world’

Iran’s nuclear weapons program poses the “most serious threat to the world,” Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor warned.

“There is limited time [to stop Iran], and the question is, ‘What will be done with that time,’ ” he said in an interview with National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” program.

The threat is not limited to Israel, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to destroy, the ambassador said.

“We see the Iranian threat as the most serious threat to the world,” he said. “It’s [a threat] to Israel because [Iran] threatens Israel’s very existence and denies our right to exist.

“It’s [a threat] to the region because they would like to dominate the entire Middle East. But beyond that, I think that it will be a different world for our children and grandchildren were Iran to be able to have a nuclear weapon.”

Mr. Meridor predicted that Iran would disrupt nuclear nonproliferation efforts and let “many, many genies out of many, many bottles.”

He urged the “world community” to act “responsibly and seriously and determinedly by diplomatic ways, by economic pressure on Iran, by explaining to the Iranian people the wrongdoing of their government.”

Mr. Meridor also said the Israeli government is “constantly” looking for any change in the views of the militant Hamas group that dominates the Palestinian government. Hamas has refused to recognize the state of Israel.

“Not only our hearts and hands, but our ears are constantly open [to any change in Hamas],” he said. “There is nothing Israel wants more than peace, and we are constantly tuned to any potential change in our enemies and in their views. So far, as we know, Hamas is committed to the opposite of peace.”

Trip to Mexico

Mexico’s new ambassador, when he presented his diplomatic credentials at the White House this week, praised President Bush for his upcoming visit to Mexico City.

The two-day visit beginning March 12 will “strengthen the already firm foundations on which our bilateral relationship rests,” Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan said.

“It is a bilateral relationship whose breadth, complexity and vitality has no parallel elsewhere in the world,” he added.

The ambassador said his top priority is to advance the agenda of President Felipe Calderon. Mr. Sarukhan served as a foreign policy adviser and spokesman to the international press during Mr. Calderon’s presidential campaign.

“It is time to roll up our sleeves and work together to achieve a constructive dialogue with forward-looking solutions for the future well-being of our two peoples,” Mr. Sarukhan said.

Earlier in his diplomatic career, Mr. Sarukhan served in Washington as chief of staff to Mexican Ambassador Jorge Montano in 1993. Two years later, he was appointed the embassy’s director for counternarcotics and law-enforcement issues. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Sarukhan was Mexico’s consul general in New York.

Conservative honor

Yulia Tymoshenko will cap her busy Washington visit this evening when she will be honored at the annual dinner of top U.S. conservatives, who will give her some original documents signed by President Reagan.

Mrs. Tymoshenko, who will begin her day with a 9 a.m. press conference at the National Press Club, will be recognized tonight by the Conservative Political Action Committee for her promotion of democracy in Ukraine, first as a leader of the 2005 Orange Revolution that drove a corrupt government from power and later as prime minister. She is now leader of the opposition in the Ukrainian parliament.

Columnist and author John Fund will present her with original presidential proclamations pertaining to the Cold War.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected]


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