PARIS, Feb 10 (KUNA) -- The French government on Friday urged Iran to
cooperate with and facilitate forthcoming inspections of its nuclear
facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to resume
dialogue with the international community over its controversial programmes.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that the inspections
in Iran were "an important element" and Iran should allow the IAEA to do its
job and "finally demonstrate its disposition to dialogue seriously" with the
5+1 group, which is seeking to resolve the conflict with Tehran over suspected
military applications to its nuclear research.
The 5+1 has offered to resume talks with Iran and has communicated this
desire via European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton on October 21,
"We still have no answer," the French official remarked.
Secondly, he said France wanted Iran to "shed all light" on its nuclear
activities, notably since the last report by the IAEA which expressed concern
about a potential military deviation from the civilian nuclear programme.
Iran flatly denies it is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon.
The above demands "are our expectations and wishes concerning Iran. We also
want to see Iran respect international law in this area, like in many others,"
Areas he cited include international treaties on non-proliferation and also
resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA.
There is no "visible" compliance by Iran in these areas, the French
Since 2006, Iran has been placed under four rounds of UN sanctions for its
refusal to cooperate on such questions as halting uranium enrichment and
transparency on "sensitive" nuclear activities and cooperating fully with the
In addition, the European Union and the United States have adopted separate
sets of sanctions against Iranian oil exports and operations and assets linked
to the Iranian Central Bank.
Separately, Valero reiterated French opposition to a military strike
against Iran, saying "we absolutely do not want to see this take place."
Israel has threatened several times to attack Iranian nuclear sites, but
has not gotten international support for such an operation.
"That would be the worst possible of situations," Valero said in reference
to a military strike, adding it was precisely to avoid this eventuality that
France and its partners were working through diplomacy, coupled with
sanctions, to "bring Iran to hear the voice of reason." (end)
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