Sarko Calls for Tougher Iran Sanctions —Not War

Prez backs away from earlier threats
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2007 5:17 AM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech at the Senate in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007. Sarkozy, making good on election promises of ground-shifting reforms for France, forged ahead on two...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has no doubt that Iran "is trying to obtain an atomic bomb," but France seeks tougher United Nations sanctions rather than war, he insisted yesterday. Sarkozy's comments clearly backed away from an earlier statement by his foreign minister that Europe must prepare for war in Iran, reports AFP.

"France does not want war" and must deal with Iran "through discussion, through dialogue, through sanctions," the president said in a television interview. France meets today with the UN security council and German representatives to discuss stepping up sanctions against Iran for its continued enrichment of uranium. Iran officials insist that it seeks only to produce civilian electric power through its nuclear program.