Chirac urges dialogue with Iran on nuclear program

September 19, 2006 21:23

French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday urged dialogue with Iran instead of threats, but appeared to soften an earlier push to drop talk of sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear activities. "Dialogue must prevail," Chirac told world leaders at the UN General Assembly. "Our goal is not to call regimes into question." On Monday, Chirac shook up diplomatic circles with a compromise proposal to kickstart talks between Iran and the international community, by suspending the threat of UN sanctions if Teheran suspends uranium enrichment at the same time. Chirac, after the talks with Bush, insisted that his compromise proposal was just a reiteration of France's position. He said he and Bush see "eye-to-eye" on Iran and insisted US-French relations were close and friendly. Then, in his speech to the General Assembly, he avoided mention of sanctions and insisted, "the international community must stand firm and united."

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