France says ready for nuclear talks with Iran at IAEA

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President Nicolas Sarkozy Saturday told his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev that France was prepared "without delay" to have talks with Iran on its nuclear drive at the UN nuclear agency, the French presidency said.

In his talks with Medvedev in Saint Petersburg, Sarkozy said that new UN sanctions against Iran "were not to punish Iran but to convince its leaders to resume the path of negotiations," a presidential official said.

Sarkozy added that France was ready "without delay to have discussions at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna with Iran," added the official.

The talks would be based on a deal aimed at ending the standoff brokered by Brazil and Turkey as well as the response given by UN Security Council powers France, Russia and the United States in the form of sanctions, the official said.

© 2010 AFP

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