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Thursday 01 September 2011

Iran slams Sarkozy over nuclear remark



Iran urged French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday not to make comments based on "unrealistic information," after Paris called for tougher sanctions over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

"As stated repeatedly, Iran's nuclear activity is completely peaceful and International Atomic Energy Agency reports have confirmed it," state television quoted the foreign ministry's head of western Europe affairs as saying.

Sarkozy told an annual meeting of French diplomats on Wednesday that France would work with its allies to build support for tougher international sanctions against Tehran, in a bid to force it to back down over uranium enrichment.

"Iran's defence activities are all deterrent. Remarks based on unrealistic information could act as a basis for regional instability, and it is recommended that by heeding to reality one should refrain from making such remarks," Iranian television quoted Hasan Tajik as saying.

Sarkozy had added that if sanctions against the Islamic republic failed to bring about the desired outcome, a country which he did not name could resort to a pre-emptive attack against Iran's nuclear sites.

"Its military nuclear and ballistic ambitions constitute a growing threat that may lead to a preventive attack against Iranian sites that would provoke a major crisis that France wants to avoid at all costs," he said.

Tehran's nemeses Washington and Israel have repeatedly refused to rule out a military option against Iran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects masks a covert atomic weapons project.

Tehran maintains that it is merely enriching nuclear fuel for medical research and a domestic atomic energy programme.

The UN Security Council has repeatedly ordered Tehran to halt all uranium enrichment until its nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is satisfied of the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.

Iran has been slapped with four sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to suspend enrichment.

Source: AFP

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