Amos Harel
December 5, 2009

Senior NATO officials last week called Iran’s nuclear and missile programs “a potential threat to the peace and security of the entire world.” The comments came in conversations with journalists during the meeting in Brussels last week of foreign ministers of North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states.

Iran’s nuclear program is not at the top of NATO’s agenda. Most of the deliberations, as well as the press briefings, were focused on Afghanistan. Central to the discussion was the recent announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama of the decision to dispatch more American troops to that country.

The international community’s efforts to pressure Iran into ceasing its nuclear ambitions is spearheaded by the United States, in cooperation with other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. In closed talks, and in particular in response to questions raised by journalists from Persian Gulf states, where Iran is perceived as a direct threat, senior NATO officials acknowledged the gravity of the situation.

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