Chirac Dismisses Threat of Sanctions on Iran

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President of France, Jacques Chirac, has urged the world to suspend threats of sanctions on Iran.

Chirac spoke to Europe-1 radio on Monday and said ‘I don’t believe in a solution without dialogue,’ urging countries to remove the threat of sanctions.

The French president said it was still highly possible to proceed with effective dialogue with Iran, and insisted the international community, namely UN security council plus Germany, withdraw the threat of sanctions.

The U.S is leading calls for sanctions to be imposed on Iran if it refuses to suspend uranium enrichment. Iran is a member of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).

Diplomatic talks

Chirac defended Iran as a ‘great nation’ and claimed that he was confident in finding a ‘solution through dialogue.’

He suggested all six nations currently involved, UK, France, China, Russia, US plus Germany set an agenda for talks with Iran. ‘I am not pessimistic,’ he added.

‘During these negotiations I suggest that the six renounce seizing the UN Security Council and Iran renounces uranium enrichment.’

The French president however, has made it clear he will not meet with the Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, because he ‘deplores’ the Iranian leader’s suggestion that Israel be ‘wiped off hte map.’

Iran ready for diplomacy

Ali Larijani, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator, said during last week’s talks with the European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, that Tehran was ready to consider a temporary agreement of compliance with the Security Council demand that it freeze its uranium enrichment.

Al-Jazeera recently reported that an anonymous diplomat said Mr Liijani considered Iran’s temporary halt to nuclear activities ‘voluntarily’ for ‘one or two months.’ However the source said it would only do so ‘without pressure.’

United Nations assembly

This is the first time that a European leader has made clear that Iran’s ‘suspension of uranium enrichment’ is not a precondition for opening talks.

Meanwhile, Chirac was preparing to go to New York, joining other world leaders for the UN General Assembly.

The nuclear standoff with Iran is expected to dominate as a key topic of disscuision at the meeting.

The United States and Britain advocate for an abrupt move toward sanctions If Iran does not ‘halt’ its enrichment program.