Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

France

Sarkozy tells Iran to join nuclear talks or face further isolation

©

Video by Catherine VIETTE , Karim YAHIAOUI

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-04

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned Iran that it will face deeper isolation if it does not agree soon to talks with world powers over its nuclear programme. Iran has so far rejected invitations to such talks.

REUTERS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Iran on Wednesday it faced deeper international isolation if it did not agree soon to talks with the world’s biggest powers on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

 

 

Sarkozy agreed to a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Wednesday at which French officials said Mottaki would deliver a message from the “highest Iranian authorities” on the highly disputed nuclear programme.

 

But before Mottaki had left the building, Sarkozy’s office issued a statement suggesting no breakthrough was made and urging Iran to seize the chance for talks with the powers—France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China.

 

“He (Sarkozy) underlined the importance and seriousness of the initiative by the ‘six’,” the French statement said, urging Iran to accept talks offered by the powers.

 

“Failing that, Iran will expose itself to constantly growing international pressure on all levels,” it added. The U.N.  Security Council has passed several rounds of sanctions against Iran for failing to heed calls to suspend uranium enrichment.

 

The six powers have offered Iran a package of economic and other incentives in exchange for which they want Iran to stop enriching uranium, a process that can produce fuel for power plants or, potentially, a nuclear weapon.

 

They have invited Iran to talks and asked that it suspend its uranium enrichment work while initial negotiations take place, but Iran has so far rejected the advances.

 

The powers suspect Iran is secretly developing the ability to produce a nuclear weapon, but Iran says it only wants to master atomic technology to generate electricity.

 

“LAST CHANCE”

 

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he is prepared to hold talks with Iran to resolve the dispute, but Washington has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails.

 

“There is almost a last chance to negotiate and it must be seized,” a senior official in Sarkozy’s office told reporters.

 

The senior French official said the message Mottaki brought from Tehran was that the Iranians were putting the finishing touches to a counter-proposal to the package of incentives.

 

“The president (Sarkozy) told them ‘hurry up because time is running out’. He said they have to be real, positive counter-proposals,” the official said.

 

The rare encounter between a senior Iranian politician and the leader of a major power took place nine days before Iran’s presidential election, in which incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces a challenge from moderates seeking a thaw with the West.

 

Sarkozy is due to meet Obama on Saturday in France and Iran is certain to be high on the agenda.

 

“The window of opportunity (for Iran) opens on the morning of June 13 and ends in the autumn. Obama said by the end of the year but it will no doubt be well before the end of the year,” the official said.

 

Sarkozy also denounced comments by Ahmadinejad on Wednesday in which he called the Holocaust a “great deception”.

 

“The president (Sarkozy) condemned the remarks made on this day by the Iranian president calling into question the reality of the Holocaust,” the statement said, adding that the comments were “unacceptable and deeply shocking”.

 

Date created : 2009-06-04

Comments

COMMENT(S)