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France says time ripe for Iran sanctions

28 April 2010 16:04

The French president says while he realizes China’s desire for talks on Iran’s nuclear issue, he thinks that time is ripe for new sanctions due to the lack of “constructive talks”.

Accusing Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, the US and its allies, including France, have been lobbying for tougher UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against the Tehran government.

The US-led push for more sanctions has received a chilly response mainly from China, one of the five veto-wielding members of the UNSC which insists that diplomacy can still resolve Iran’s nuclear issue.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that China’s push for dialogue was understandable but added that it remained unknown as to how much longer the global community had to wait to see the results of diplomacy.

“China hopes to give dialogue every opportunity, France understands this,” President Sarkozy said during a joint press briefing with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in China.

“The whole question is to examine at what point the absence of constructive dialogue, must lead to sanctions in order to enhance constructive dialogue. Everyone is convinced that moment is approaching,” the French president added.

Despite its recent statement that it might support sanctions against Iran, Russia, another permanent member of the UNSC, has also expressed reluctance to support the imposition of new sanctions on Tehran.

The UNSC comprises of five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US — and 10 temporary ones. For a resolution to pass, it needs at least nine votes in favor and no veto by permanent members.

Iran says any punitive measure against its nuclear work would be legally baseless and unfair as the country’s nuclear program is being fully monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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