France has '4 demands' for interim deal with Iran: Hollande

17th November 2013, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande on Sunday laid out four demands which must be in place for an agreement with Iran to successfully rein in its nuclear programme.

"France is in favour of an interim agreement but on the basis of four points," he said at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

"The first demand: put all the Iranian nuclear installations under international supervision, right now. Second point: suspend enrichment to 20 percent. Thirdly: to reduce the existing stock.

"And finally, to halt construction of the Arak (heavy water) plant. These are the points which for us are essential to guarantee any agreement," he said.

His remarks were made on the eve of a new round of talks in Geneva between world powers and Iran seeking to reach an agreement to scale back Tehran's contested nuclear programme.

A previous round of talks ended on November 10 without agreement, with France taking a tougher stance than its Western partners in a move which won glowing praise in Israel.

Standing next to Hollande, Netanyahu said he was "gravely concerned" that attempts to sign a deal would succeed.

"I'm concerned, gravely concerned, that this deal will go through and in one stroke of the pen, it will reduce the sanctions on Iran -- sanctions that took years to put in place -- and in return for this, Iran gives practically nothing," Netanyahu said.

"It's clear that this agreement is good only for Iran and that it's really bad for the rest of the world," he said. "Iran's dream deal is the world's nightmare."


© 2013 AFP

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