President Nicolas Sarkozy used the launching of France's new nuclear-armed submarine on Friday to advocate the streamlining of France's nuclear arms programme. (Report: K.Williams)
Speaking at the launch of
"Everyone must be aware today that even far-flung powers' nuclear missiles can reach
While only major powers had such means today, countries in Asia and the
"I am thinking in particular of
The U.N. Security Council has passed three rounds of sanctions against
"In the face of proliferation, the international community must be united, the international community must be resolute. Because we want peace, we must be without weakness with those who violate international norms," Sarkozy said in a thinly veiled reference to the Islamic republic.
"Maintaining the competences necessary to dissuasion at the highest level is a fundamental objective for our security," he said, adding: "All those who threaten to attack our vital interests would expose themselves to a severe riposte by
Sarkozy proposed measures to limit nuclear stockpiles and put an end to weapons testing after his predecessor Jacques Chirac sparked international outrage by testing arms in the south Pacific shortly after his 1995 election.
"I propose to launch without delay negotiations for a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and to impose an immediate moratorium on the production of these materials," Sarkozy said.
He also proposed immediate talks on a treaty banning short- and medium-range ground-to-ground missiles, a category which includes Scud-type missiles.
Date created : 2008-03-21