French PM says nuclear accord possible with Iran
PARIS (AFP) Nov 29, 2005
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said on Tuesday that an agreement was possible over Iran's nuclear ambitions, in an interview with the US television network CNN.
"I think that there is a deal possible, there is an offer that has been made by the Europeans and I think it is in the interests of the international community, in the interests of Iran, to accept these proposals," Villepin said in the English-language interview.
Talks between Iran and the EU-3 -- Britain, France and Germany -- broke off in August when Tehran rejected an offer of incentives in exchange for a promise to limit its nuclear activities amid fears they could be used for military purposes.
Iran then broke an agreement with the European Union to suspend uranium enrichment-related work by resuming conversion, a precursor to ultra-sensitive enrichment work.
"We have made an offer. And Iran has decided to resume the enrichment of uranium, and I think it is very important now today to put pressure on Iran to make sure that they accept this offer," Villepin said.
"If they don't accept, then we will have to go to the (United Nations) Security Council."
Asked what possible sanctions the Islamic republic could face if it continues to refuse negotiations, Villepin replied, "You see there is one key factor of diplomacy, never tell what you will do before."
In September the International Atomic Energy Agency found Iran to be in "non-compliance" with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a trigger for the matter to be referred to the Security Council.
The IAEA board last week put off such a move to give time for a new Russian diplomatic initiative, under which Russia would conduct uranium enrichment on Iran's behalf.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.