German defense minister hopeful of diplomatic solution on Iran

Germany's defense minister said in an interview released Saturday that he is hopeful of a diplomatic solution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program, but argued that "all options" should remain open. Asked by the Bild am Sonntag weekly whether the threat of a military solution should remain in place, Franz Josef Jung was quoted as saying: "Yes, we need all options."

"But absolutely everything must first be tried to reach a good result by diplomatic means," Jung added. "I am confident that there will be a diplomatic solution in the case of Iran." Germany, France and Britain have led European efforts to address concerns that Iran might seek to develop nuclear weapons worries that Tehran insists are unfounded.

After Iran broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant and said it was resuming nuclear research after a two-year freeze, the three nations on Jan. 12 said talks were at a dead end and called for Iran's referral to the U.N. Security Council, reports the AP. N.U.