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France Warns of Risk of Israeli Strike on Iran

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Oct 27, 2009.


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    Oct 27, 2009
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    France warns of risk of Israeli strike on Iran


    BEIRUT: Iran's nuclear ambitions have started a ''race to confrontation'' with Israel, says the French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner.

    He said the world's leading powers must break the deadlock before Israel ''reacts'' to Iran's military aims. Agreement must be reached with Iran over its nuclear program to remove the risk of an Israeli pre-emptive strike.

    During an official visit to Lebanon, he said time was running out: ''[The Israelis] will not tolerate an Iranian bomb … So that is an additional risk and that is why we must decrease the tension and solve the problem.

    ''Hopefully we are going to stop this race to a confrontation. Israel will react as soon as they know there is a threat.''

    Six world powers, including France and Britain, met Iranian officials in Geneva on October 1. They want Iran to obey five UN resolutions and stop enriching uranium, a process that could produce the material for a nuclear weapon. So far Iran has refused.

    Mr Kouchner said he fears that tightening existing sanctions would impoverish ordinary Iranians, weaken the opposition and fail to influence the regime.

    ''Certainly, the upper people in the Iranian Government will not suffer from sanctions,'' he said. ''But the people of the bazaar and the people on the street, the women and the youngsters will certainly suffer from that.''

    Mr Kouchner said the priority was still dialogue. More sanctions might become necessary ''in the coming months'', but he would be reluctant to impose them.

    ''There is an opposition, people are demonstrating,'' he said. ''Why are we targeting them?''

    Iran has blamed Britain for the protests against the re-election in June of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr Kouchner said these accusations were designed to divide the West.

    Telegraph | smh