French Minister Backs Off Iran War Threat

"Negotiate, negotiate," Kouchner now says after storm of criticism
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2007 3:18 AM CDT
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(Newser) – French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner yesterday backpedaled on comments he'd made threatening war with Iran if it didn't drop development of its nuclear program. "The worst situation would be war, and to avoid the worst, the French position is very clear: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate," he said after criticism from his own government and stinging blasts from Iran.

Kouchner had said earlier that if Iran didn't back off development of its nuclear program it was "necessary to prepare for the worst—war." His comments triggered speculation that France might be falling in line with the Bush administration's pugilistic position. Iran continues to develop its nuclear program in defiance of the international community.