Communique following the interview given by the President of the Republic to the "Nouvel Observateur" magazine, "International Herald Tribune" and "New York Times" newspapers

Communique issued by the Presidency of the Republic following the interview given by M. Jacques CHIRAC, President of the Republic, to the "Nouvel Observateur" magazine, "International Herald Tribune" and "New York Times" newspapers


Paris, 1 February 2007

President Chirac reaffirmed with the utmost clarity French policy vis-à-vis Iran. Such a serious matter, on which France and President Chirac's commitment is constant, cannot be the subject of a war of words.

Two types of issue are involved: the nuclear issue and regional issues.

1) Nuclear issue. France, with the international community, cannot accept the prospect of an Iran with nuclear weapons and is asking Iran to comply with her commitments under the NPT, while reaffirming that country's right to civilian nuclear power. Iran, who has not proved that her nuclear programme was designed for peaceful purposes, has to implement the IAEA and UN resolutions and restore the trust she has broken during a long period of concealment of her nuclear activities.

This issue is endangering the balance and stability of the Middle East region and beyond. It is being handled by the three European States (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) and the European Union with Russia, China and the United States, who are acting unitedly and ensuring the unity of their position, as they demonstrated with the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1737.

In 2006, the six countries proposed to Iran cooperation in the field of civil nuclear power and the economic and security areas. The offer is still on the table. If Iran agrees to suspend by a sovereign gesture her enrichment-related activities, then the UN Security Council will suspend the current sanctions process and the negotiation will begin with Iran.

The Iranian nuclear programme is impenetrable and so dangerous for the region from the point of view of proliferation and the arms race. France is campaigning for the Middle East to become a Weapon of mass destruction (WMD) Free Zone, and an IAEA resolution with this end in view was passed last year.

2) At the regional level, France considers that Iran is destined to play a role in the region where she must contribute to stability and peace. France has always deemed it necessary to keep a dialogue going with that country for dealing with crises and discussing the region's future. On several occasions, France has denounced and condemned President Ahmadinejad's statements on Israel and the Holocaust./.

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