Joschka Fischer speaking to the Iranian Centre for Strategic Research on August 1, 2006. An interesting piece of diplomacy.
Fischer acknowledges the "constant humiliation and interventions from outside" that have shaped Iran’s recent history, and even mentions God, as in "may God help us to prevent [a confrontation between Iran and the Security Council] from happening." He suggests a sort of regional stability pact, and draws on European history to justify it:
Europe developed the balance of power system after our religious wars in 1648. And we experienced its benefits and its nightmares over the centuries and finally its definitive collapse in two world wars between 1914 and 1945. My country challenged this European system twice in the first half of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the last century, Germany was the leading power of Europe, but we made the wrong decisions and ended in a complete disaster. What was our strategic mistake? We followed hegemonial aspirations that relied on military might and prestige, and we miscalculated the anti-hegemonial instincts of Europe. And twice we underestimated the strategic potential, the power, and the political will and decisiveness of the United States. Otto von Bismarck, perhaps the greatest German statesman of the nineteenth century, defined Germany’s role in his century as either “hammer or anvil.” In the second half of the twentieth century, it turned out that he was completely wrong, because this had never been a serious alternative. A new European system based on a peaceful balance of interests, common European institutions in the framework of the EU, and guaranteed security, produced by NATO and the transatlantic alliance, completely changed the course of German and European history for the better.
And watch out for the Americans. You never know what they’re capable of:
Whether anyone likes it or not, the United States is and will be the key player. It would be a dangerous misperception to think that the United States is weak because of the present situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Middle East the United States is not only defending its interests and allies, but its role as the only global power. And it will continue to do this at any price.