France urges 'firm' response to Iran nuclear crisis

19th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

MOSCOW, Jan 19, 2006 (AFP) - France urged Thursday a "firm" response to Iran's defiant stand on its nuclear power programme, while Russia countered by calling for a cautious approach to the international crisis.

MOSCOW, Jan 19, 2006 (AFP) - France urged Thursday a "firm" response to Iran's defiant stand on its nuclear power programme, while Russia countered by calling for a cautious approach to the international crisis.

"We must simultaneously be united but also firm, to tell the Iranians to return to reason, to stop these dangerous nuclear activities and to let us negotiate together," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

"It is not possible for you to have the entire international community on your back," Douste-Blazy said.

The European Union and United States claim that Iran could be hiding a secret military project behind its efforts to build a civilian atomic power network with Russian help. Iran denies this and asserts its right to create a civilian capability under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Lavrov reiterated Russia's attempts to strike a less confrontational stance.

"We need to act exactly as in medicine," he told journalists. "First understand what method is the most effective — the scalpel or therapy. Only then do you understand all the after-effects of further steps. Only then should you act."

Lavrov added: "The most important thing is not to blow out of proportion the aspects that create some kind of sensation."

The EU and the United States want the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, a measure that would open the door to a debate on economic sanctions against Iran.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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