in the near
He wrote a piece that appeared in today's Daily Star, an English-language Lebanese newspaper, arguing that President Bush's recent visit to the Middle East was a precursor to a war against Iran.
"The Middle East is drifting toward a new great confrontation in 2008. Iran must understand that without a diplomatic solution in the coming months, a dangerous military conflict is very likely to erupt. It is high time for serious negotiations to begin," he said.
Fischer said Bush's speech during his address to the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, this month indicated a coming Israeli-US attack on Iran's nuclear program.
"He (Bush) seemed to be planning, together with Israel, to end the Iranian nuclear program -- and to do so by military, rather than by diplomatic, means.... Although it is acknowledged in Israel that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would involve grave and hard-to-assess risks, the choice between acceptance of a nuclear Iran and an attempt at its military destruction, with all the attendant consequences, is clear. Israel won't stand by and wait for matters to take their course," Fischer said.
Fischer was German's top diplomat from 1998 to 2005 and is a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.