Iran provokes an international crisis: France

9th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 8 (AFP) - Iran's resumption of nuclear activities Monday has created a "grave crisis" that requires a united response from the international community, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said.

PARIS, Aug 8 (AFP) - Iran's resumption of nuclear activities Monday has created a "grave crisis" that requires a united response from the international community, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said.

"The international community will react and will decide the response to give," he told AFP.

"I hope it will be united in the face of this grave crisis deliberately provoked by Iran."

The minister said French officials had received a letter from Tehran giving a negative answer to a package of EU incentives offered in exchange for Iran suspending nuclear work that could be used to build weapons.

The tone of the letter was "particularly alarming," Douste-Blazy said, adding that it was "contrary to the spirit of the negotiations we have held with Iran over the past two years.

"I call on Iran to listen to the voice of reason and to return to fully respecting the Paris accord" struck last November which set the framework for the trade package and the suspension of Iran's nuclear activities, he said.

The UN's atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed Monday that Iran had begun the first stage of uranium ore conversion, an initial step in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Uranium conversion produces a gas that is the feedstock for enriching uranium into fuel for civilian nuclear power plants. In highly refined form, it can be the raw material for atomic bombs.

France, Britain and Germany, which headed the negotiations with Iran on behalf of the European Union, have called an extraordinary meeting of the IAEA board of governors on Tuesday to discuss Iran's violation of the Paris accord.

The board is expected to issue a final ultimatum to Iran, under threat of referring the matter to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions against the country.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Iran, nuclear, Douste-Blazy

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