French President Nicolas Sarkozy has criticized Iran's leaders for their handling of post-election protests and suggested "severe" new sanctions if Iran continues its nuclear activities.
Sarkozy said France will support new sanctions and stronger inspection powers for the International Atomic Energy Agency if Iran does not suspend activities that Western powers suspect are aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
Sarkozy said in a speech Wednesday that "these are the same leaders, in Iran, who tell us that the nuclear program is peaceful and that the elections were honest. Frankly, who believes them?"
Tehran says it is only seeking peaceful nuclear energy.
Iran's June 12 presidential election was marred by allegations of fraud.