President Nicolas Sarkozy reaffirmed that France does not want a war with Iran over its nuclear program, but he renewed his allegations against Iran once again. “Iran is trying to obtain an atomic bomb,” Sarkozy charged. “That is unacceptable and I tell the French people it is unacceptable.”
The Iranian nuclear question “is an extremely difficult affair, but France does not want a war,” he said in a prime-time interview on TF1 and France 2 television.
Sarkozy also distanced himself from comments by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who caused a diplomatic storm in an interview Sunday when he said “we have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war.”
“I would not have used the word war, and he himself has explained his comments,” Sarkozy said.
Kouchner insists his comments were taken out of context, and has offered to visit Iran for talks on the nuclear standoff.
France has taken an increasingly strong line in the dispute over Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which the United States and its allies claim is an effort to build an atomic bomb.
Iran denies it is seeking an atomic weapon and insists its nuclear program is for power generation.