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. Chirac appeals to Iran in nuclear standoff
PARIS, Jan 5 (AFP) Jan 05, 2007
French President Jacques Chirac on Friday made a renewed appeal to Tehran to restore the trust of the international community, saying its contested nuclear activities were a source of fear across the world.

Iran "is feeding the world's apprehension, through its proliferation activities and the unacceptable and provocative statements of some of its leaders," Chirac said in a New Year's address to the French diplomatic corps.

"It is up to it to restore trust through a sovereign gesture," he said, calling on Iran to suspend its "enrichment-related activities to coincide with the start of the negotiations sought by the international community."

He said such a move would "open the doors of cooperation, and a new partnership in service of stability, peace and prosperity across the whole region, while respecting its political choices."

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on December 23 to impose sanctions on Iran after it refused to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment work which can make nuclear fuel but also the fissile core of an atom bomb.

The West fears Iran is secretly seeking to develop weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting it only wants to generate energy.

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