Sarkozy urges Iran to back down in nuclear standoff

27th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

Sarkozy urges Iran to back down in nuclear standoff

PARIS, Aug 27, 2007 (AFP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday that France was determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, but held out the prospect of rewarding Tehran if it backs down.  

"A nuclear-armed Iran is for me unacceptable," Sarkozy asserted in his first foreign policy speech since taking office in May.

"France will spare no effort to convince Iran that it has much to gain by engaging in serious negotiations with the Europeans, the Americans, the Chinese and the Russians," said Sarkozy.

Iran is under international pressure to come clean over its nuclear programme, which Washington claims is aimed at making an atomic bomb.

Sarkozy, widely seen as more pro-American than his predecessor Jacques Chirac, asserted that he was a "friend of Israel," but that he also had feelings of friendship and respect for Arab countries.

The president stated that France would not allow a "Hamastan" to be created in the Palestinian territories after the takeover of the Gaza Strip by the radical group in June.

"We cannot resign ourselves to this outcome," said Sarkozy.


Subject: French news

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