Iran protests to France over nuclear stance

22nd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 October 2007, TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki issued a strong protest to France on Monday over its support for unilateral sanctions over the Iranian nuclear programme.

22 October 2007

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki issued a strong protest to France on Monday over its support for unilateral sanctions over the Iranian nuclear programme.

In a letter to his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner, Mottaki protested at "France's pressure for unilateral sanctions and its encouragement of the European Union to this end.

"This move is part of a defeated policy... the imposition of unilateral sanctions against countries is an illegal action," he said.

Kouchner angered Tehran last month when he said the world had to prepare for war over Iran's atomic drive, and has been pushing fellow European states to adopt their own sanctions.

Iran has been slapped by two sets of UN Security Council sanctions and the West is awaiting reports from EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and the UN atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency by the end of November to decide whether to take tougher penalties.

Kouchner had proposed that in parallel to UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, the Europeans should consider their own additional measures, although he has since denied France was toughening its stance.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country that is responsible in the international system, but it does not allow its rights to be trampled on," Mottaki said.

He also played down the importance of sanctions, saying such measures simply made Iran "more determined to achieve independence and technical progress."

Permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, along with Germany, have led efforts to convince Iran to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for political and economic incentives.

Western countries fear Iran could be trying to develop an atomic bomb behind the guise of a civilian nuclear programme -- a charge the Islamic republic rejects.

AFP

Subject: French news

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