Sanctions against Iran proving effective: France, US

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International sanctions against Iran are bearing fruit and have sparked a "debate" inside Tehran's regime, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said Thursday during a US visit.

His American counterpart, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, expressed a similar view, saying a UN Security Council resolution adopted in June had paved the legal way for countries to take even stricter sanctions over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

"The sanctions that were adopted after the UN resolution by a number of countries... are bearing fruit, so that today a debate is starting to appear at the heart of the Iranian political leadership," Morin said at a joint news conference.

Gates said in his talks with Morin, the two agreed that measures adopted by governments "have ended up being more effective and more severe than perhaps we might have expected before the UN resolution was passed."

Their comments came as Western powers on the UN Security Council urged tougher steps on the implementation of the sanctions.

But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview with NBC News that yet more sanctions would not hurt his country.

© 2010 AFP

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