Commentary Magazine


La Russa Speaks

Interviewed about the Iranian President’s visit to Rome, Italy’s new defense minister Ignazio La Russa reaffirmed Europe’s commitment to sanctions–and hinted at the need for possibly expanding the sanctions regime to increase pressure. Naturally, Europeans are not eager to see military action against Iran–in the past, several European politicians forcefully decried any reference to a possible military option. It is a novelty then that La Russa, when asked about a possible military strike, said something else:

I don’t believe that today conditions exist [for a military strike]. In the history of mankind, unfortunately one can never rule out military action, it is the continuation of politics and diplomacy, but let’s hope this will never occur.

A European government minister is thus on the record in Europe on the possibility–admittedly remote–of military action. And admittedly, this is not exactly the dominant mood. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, after all, is slated to travel to Tehran soon to deliver new incentives to the uncooperative Iranians. Given Europe’s usual tone of forceful condemnation, this modest variation, even in the continent of Kantian perpetual peace, is a welcome change and a reminder that Iran cannot go on fooling all of the people all of the time.

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