Chirac Hopeful about Solution of Iran’s Case through Talks

A0009221.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- French President Jacques Chirac on Friday expressed the hope that West and Iran can find a solution to the nuclear issue through dialogue, stressing that he “has never been a great believer in sanctions” and that he “has never been convinced of their effectiveness.”

Yet, Chirac maintained that if a stalemate developed in the dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program then sanctions should be imposed.

“If it goes on and appears that the dialogue will not end, then it is probably necessary to find calibrated, adaptable, temporary and reversible sanctions that will be imposed to show Iran that the West does not understand their position and is hostile to it,” he asserted.

President Chirac’s statements followed reports from Iran that scientists had begun feeding gas into a second cascade of centrifuges to enrich uranium, defying UN threats of sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“The second cascade was set up two weeks ago and this week gas was injected into them,” an iranian official said, adding. “We have the product of the second cascade.”

Iran on Wednesday confirmed it had installed new equipment to step up uranium enrichment and said it would imminently start pumping gas into the equipment.

President Chirac said he had “never been a great believer in sanctions” and that he “has never been convinced of their effectiveness.”

A top Iranian cleric in Tehran’s Friday sermon defied the UN over probable sanctions, calling again for a return to negotiations.

“If you want to go ahead with the sanctions, go ahead,” said Ahmad Khatami.

“You have imposed sanctions on us for the past 27 years. What did you gain? It was with these sanctions that Iranian youth reached nuclear energy and self-sufficiency,” Tehran’s interim Friday Prayers leader continued.

Meanwhile, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on Friday remained at odds over a new draft resolution to impose sanctions on Iran.

The three European nations which had drafted the resolution – Britain, France and Germany – met for the first time on Thursday with the United States, Russia and China to discuss the sanctions.

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