France sees nuclear Iran as "major threat": report

21st January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons would be a "major threat" to the international community, French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said in an interview with an Israeli newspaper published on Friday.

"The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran would be a major threat for the international community," she told Haaretz as six world powers began fresh talks with Iran in a bid to resolve tensions over its controversial nuclear drive.

"We are absolutely determined to stop this and to make Iran respect both (UN) Security Council resolutions and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolutions," she said, referring to the UN atomic watchdog.

But she stressed that the "door of dialogue certainly remains open."

"Iran knows what it must do to start serious negotiations," she said. "But it must also understand that the increase of international pressure is unstoppable if it doesn't change its attitude."

France "will not accept that the Iranian regime destabilises the region. We will give no ground to those who threaten the existence of Israel," she told a crowd at the French Embassy on the first day of her visit.

"France will not allow it to acquire nuclear weapons," she said.

Six world powers were on Friday gathering in Istanbul for fresh talks with Iran in a bid to resolve tensions over its controversial nuclear drive.

Iran is currently under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, the sensitive process which can be used to make nuclear fuel or, in highly extended form, the fissile core of an atom bomb.

The international community fears Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons but Tehran insists its aims are purely peaceful.


© 2011 AFP

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