Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel has strongly condemned recent U.S. overtures to Iran, reportedly calling for the United States to take a “very harsh” line with the Islamic republic.
Wiesel, 85, said on Sunday that the United States should move to a “more truthful” approach with Iran, weighing in just two days after a 15-minute phone call between President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ended more than three decades of estrangement between the two nations.
“I am against it, absolutely, come on, of course,” Wiesel said at a panel discussion in New York when asked about the development, according to Algemeiner.com. “ … I think America should adopt a very harsh line, a more truthful line and say to Iran that you cannot continue like that, not without our consent you can’t.”
"I think America should adopt a very harsh line, a more truthful line and say to Iran that you cannot continue like that, not without our consent you can’t."
- Elie Wiesel
Wiesel continued: “And maybe they do that, I hope they do, we don’t know, but they do.”
Wiesel, who was imprisoned in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald death camps during the Holocaust, is now a political activist and has written nearly 60 books.
He said he has spoken to several world leaders regarding Iran, which he characterized as a “danger.”
“Look, I speak to people, I speak to leaders all over the world, and about Iran I have done a lot,” he continued. “I cannot tell you what because it is always personal, but I have done a lot, I believe Iran is a danger.”
The last direct conversation between the leaders of the United States and Iran occurred in 1979 before the Iranian Revolution toppled the pro-U.S. shah, bringing Islamic militants to power. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has since urged President Obama not to lessen sanctions against Iran, claiming that for diplomacy to be successful, "those pressures must be kept in place.” Netanyahu said Iran remains determined to destroy Israel.