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. Sarkozy warns Iran it risks 'catastrophe' of Israeli strike
DAMASCUS, Sept 4 (AFP) Sep 04, 2008
French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Iran on Thursday that its determination to press on with its controversial nuclear drive risked an Israeli strike that would be a "catastrophe."

"Iran is taking a major risk by continuing the process of seeking nuclear technology for military ends," Sarkozy said at a four-way summit in Damascus with the leaders of Syria, Qatar and Turkey.

"Because one day, no matter which Israeli government is in power, one morning we will awake to find Israel has attacked," Sarkozy said on the second day of a landmark visit to Syria.

"It's not a question of whether it is legitimate or intelligent or not... It would be a catastrophe, and we must avoid such a catastrophe."

Iran has consistently denied that its nuclear programme is aimed at building an atomic bomb and says it wants only to generate energy for its growing population.

But Tehran risks a fourth round of UN sanctions over its failure to abide by international calls to freeze uranium enrichment, a process which makes nuclear fuel but can also be used to build the core of a nuclear weapon.

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