Defence chief wants diplomatic solution on Iran

16th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

TOKYO, March 16, 2007 (AFP) - France's defence minister called Friday for diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis, warning that military action risked inflaming the Islamic world.

TOKYO, March 16, 2007 (AFP) - France's defence minister called Friday for diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis, warning that military action risked inflaming the Islamic world.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany on Thursday agreed on a new package of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to suspend sensitive nuclear work.

"This crisis should be resolved through diplomatic pressure," French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told a news conference in Tokyo.

"One cannot completely rule out military intervention, but that represents a real risk," she said.

She referred to "the risk of a kind of solidarity developing among people in the Muslim world towards Iran and creating a gulf between the Muslim world and the rest of the world that together we have been able to prevent after the September 11 attacks."

"We first have to do our utmost diplomatically to drive Iran to abide by its signature on non-proliferation treaties and international norms," she said.

She welcomed the deal on a sanctions package, which paves the way for the Council to pass a new sanctions resolution next week.

"It's because all the countries are in agreement that the resolution can have an effect," Alliot-Marie said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed never to surrender to the Council's demand to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used both to make nuclear fuel and the explosive core of an atomic bomb.

The new resolution would bar Iran from exporting arms and restrict the sale or transfer to Tehran of equipment including battle tanks, combat aircraft, attack helicopters and missiles.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article