France and the United States urged Iran on Friday to restart talks over its nuclear program and warned that the option of referring Tehran to the UN Security Council for possible punishment remains open.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said "we strongly encourage Iran" to seek a diplomatic solution with France, Britain and Germany, which led European negotiations with Iran until it effectively broke off the talks in August.
"The Iranians need to get involved in negotiations and restore the confidence of the international community that they are not trying to build a nuclear weapon," Rice said after meetings with French President Jacques Chirac and his foreign minister.
The French leader and Rice agreed that for both Europe and the United States, the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is "unacceptable," Chirac's spokesman Jerome Bonnafont said.
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