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France urges Iran to cooperate with forthcoming IAEA inspections
10/02/2012   |   09:27 PM | Gulf News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
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, Valero noted.
"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," Valero indicated.
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 official said.
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 IAEA.
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) jk.bs KUNA 102127 Feb 12NNNN
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