France says Iran's nuclear program is a "military cover"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy of France went on French TV and accused Iran of having a "clandestine" nuclear program saying, "no civilian nuclear program can explain the Iranian nuclear program. So it is a clandestine Iranian military nuclear program. The international community has sent a very firm message by saying to the Iranians: 'Come back to reason. Suspend all nuclear activity and the enrichment of uranium and the conversion of uranium', but they are not listening to us. That is the reason why, for the first time for days, the international community is united. It's not just the Europeans -- France, Germany and the British, it's also Russia and China."

However, on a French radio station the Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said, "contrary to all the propaganda against us, we are not seeking a nuclear bomb, since we are a signatory to (the nuclear) (NPT). We are a responsible country - it is Western propaganda that keeps on saying that Iran is seeking a bomb, but it is not true. We want to be in this camp of countries that have nuclear energy technology but no nuclear weapons, such as Brazil and Japan"

China has expressed concern. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang has said that Beijing wants a "peaceful solution by diplomatic means."

Iran resumed small-scale uranium enrichment on Tuesday, after the IAEA reported it to the UN Security Council. Iran had stopped the enrichment process nearly 2 1/2 years ago.

Wikipedia Learn more about the NPT on Wikipedia.

"Now it's up to the Security Council to say what it will do, what means it will use to stop, to manage, to halt this terrible crisis of nuclear proliferation caused by Iran," added Douste-Blazy. During discussion of the crisis of nuclear proliferation less than one year earlier, in the month-long 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, several representatives of non-aligned states complained about the violation of Article VI of the NPT by the official nuclear weapons states, including France, who allegedly have not yet made significant moves towards nuclear disarmament as required under Article VI, and about nuclear proliferation to previously non-nuclear weapons states, such as Germany, under nuclear sharing arrangements.