US Presidential candidate McCain visits Paris
Issued on: Modified:
Republican presidential hopeful John McCain stopped off in Paris on Friday as part of a whirlwind foreign tour. (Report: C.Norris-Trent)
PARIS, March 21 (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate John
McCain said on Friday Paris could play a leading role over
international sanctions to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear
Speaking to reporters after a meeting in Paris with French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, McCain said there were many issues
France and the United States could work on together and he
singled out the drive against Iran.
"President Sarkozy has already recommended that we join
together with meaningful sanctions on Iran that would deter them
on their path of acquiring nuclear weapons," he said.
"I believe that it could be very effective and I believe
President Sarkozy's leadership on that issue is very important."
The U.N. Security Council has passed three rounds of
sanctions against Iran for failing to allay fears it is trying
to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian power
Iran denies the charges, saying it only wants to make
Sarkozy has said repeatedly that Tehran should not be
allowed to acquire nuclear weapons and specifically mentioned
Iran on Friday as a potential nuclear threat.
McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for the November
election, was in Paris as part of a Senate Armed Services
Committee fact-finding mission that also visited Iraq, Israel,
Jordan and Britain.
He said he had thanked Sarkozy for French participation in
combat operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan and said he
had talked about climate change, including the importance of
nuclear power in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
He praised Sarkozy, who has put great effort into improving
relations with Washington after the falling out over the
U.S.-led war in Iraq under his predecessor Jacques Chirac.
"I think relations with France will continue to improve no
matter who is president of the United States because this
president is committed to greater cooperation and values our
friendship," he said.
In November, Sarkozy and U.S. President George W. Bush, who
has led international criticism of Iran over the past year,
agreed to keep the pressure on Tehran.