Publishe Date: 5:15 PM - 10/12/2013 | Print

France vows ‘tough’ stance on Iran in N-talks

Politics - French President Francois Hollande has pledged to take a “tough” stance on Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

In a Friday telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hollande stressed that France will continue its “tough” position against Tehran until it witnesses that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s moderate tone translates into “actions,” the Elysee Palace said.

According to an Israeli diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity, the Israeli premier and the French president discussed Iran’s upcoming negotiations with six world powers during their phone conversation.

The phone call came a day after Netanyahu’s interview with the French television channel France 24, in which the Israeli premier urged Paris to be tough on Tehran.

Iran and the six major world powers - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US - plus Germany have held several rounds of talks. The two sides have agreed to meet in Geneva on October 15 and 16 for a fresh round of talks.

Tehran says it is ready for “serious” and “purposeful” negotiations over its nuclear energy program and has called on the other side to show seriousness in the talks.

Iran also says that it is ready to allay Western concerns over its nuclear energy program in a “win-win manner.”

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran categorically rejects the allegation, arguing that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


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