Iran's N-plan may lead to war, warns French Foreign Minister


19 September, 2007

A warning from Bernard Kouchner, French Foreign Minister, that the world has to prepare for a possible war with Iran over its nuclear program has given rise to alarm in the Middle East in general and a stinging response from Iran in particular.

IRNA, Iran’s state-owned news agency, in an editorial, charged France with “pandering to the United States” and said “the new occupants of the Elysee (presidential palace in France) want to copy the White House.”

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, former chief of an international charity and former Socialist health minister, said the world should negotiate with Iran “right to the end” over its nuclear program. He also warned, “We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war.”

If Tehran possessed an atomic weapon, Bernard Kouchner said, it would be a “real danger for the whole world” and described the current standoff as “the greatest crisis” of the present times.

Kouchner spoke his mind on September 17, 2007, ahead of a visit to Moscow where Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be the main subject of discussion.

Also on September 17, 2007 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opened its annual conference in Vienna, capital of Austria, with Iran on top of the agenda.

On September 21, 2007, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, and the United States – plus Germany are set to discuss a new draft resolution on sanctions against Iran.

Minister Bernard Kouchner said that, if the United Nations is unable to agree on a new round of sanctions, then the European Union should prepare its own.

Meanwhile, in Washington, United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates took a more guarded approach to the Iran issue. Said Gates, “I think the Bush Administration believes at this point that continuing to try and deal with the Iranian threat through diplomatic and economic means is by far the preferable approach.”

In an interview broadcast on Iranian television on September 16, 2007, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said his nation would not abandon its uranium enrichment program. And, that process can lead to the making of nuclear weapons.

The United States and its allies want the United Nations Security Council to impose a third set of sanctions on Iran for refusing to stop uranium enrichment.




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