Iran blasts 'American' French after war warning

Iran's official media launched a blistering attack on France Monday, after its foreign minister warned the world to brace for war with Tehran, accusing Paris of taking an even-harder line than Washington.

Iran blasts 'American' French after war warning
Iran's official media launched a blistering attack on France Monday, after its foreign minister warned the world to brace for war with Tehran, accusing Paris of taking an even-harder line than Washington.

"The new occupants of the Elysee want to copy the White House," the state-run IRNA news agency wrote in an editorial, referring to the French presidential palace.

It said that, since Nicolas Sarkozy took over as president from Jacques Chirac, and promoted closer ties with the United States, "he has taken on an American skin."

"The French people will never forget the era when a non-European moved into the Elysee," it said.

The comments came after French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner said the world should brace for a possible war over the Iranian nuclear dispute, even though seeking a solution through talks should take priority.

Sarkozy has, himself, bluntly warned that Iran risks being bombed if the nuclear crisis is not resolved, and IRNA accused his government of being more American than the United States in its dealings with Iran.

"The occupants of the Elysee have become the executors of the will of the White House, and have adopted a tone that is even harder, even more inflammatory, and more illogical than that of Washington."

It accused France of seeking to torpedo Iran's agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to clear up outstanding questions about the nature of its nuclear program.

"While the nuclear case, thanks to the measures taken by Iran and the IAEA, is close to being solved, the extremism of the French leaders is placing an obstacle on this path.

"The new French leaders are trying to exceed even their great American friends, at the moment when their European partners are talking about moderation, and favorably welcoming the historic agreement between Iran and the IAEA."

The United States has never ruled out using military strikes to punish Iran for its defiance on the nuclear issue, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that "all options are on the table."

Iran vehemently denies US accusations, saying its nuclear drive is aimed at providing electricity for a growing population, whose fossil fuels will, one day, run out.

AFP
Last Mod: 17 Eylül 2007, 13:50
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