'French UN envoy warns of 'strong' risk of strike on Iran'

Gerard Araud says "some countries" won't accept the prospect of Iran crossing nuclear threshold, AFP reports.

September 28, 2011 10:58
1 minute read.
French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud

French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud 311 (R). (photo credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters)

French Ambassador to the United Nations Gerard Araud warned of a "strong" risk of a military strike on Iran if it proceeds on the path to nuclear proliferation, AFP reported on Wednesday.

"If we don't succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action," AFP quoted the French envoy as saying in a New York panel discussion.

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Araud added that he is convinced "some countries won't accept [the] prospect" of the Islamic Republic reaching the threshold of nuclear armament, according to the report.

Several days ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Iran to take a first step and "freez[e] the production of centrifuges," saying that such a step would prevent fresh sanctions against it.

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If Iran makes that first step, Lavrov said in a CNN interview Sunday, Russia won't "adopt new sanctions, neither in the Security Council nor unilaterally."

Saying that the only way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue is through negotiations, he added, "I believe that if Iran gets a very clear message [that this] is not about regime change but about non-proliferation issues, I believe we have a chance to start these serious discussions."

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was expected to arrive in Israel for talks with counterpart Defense Minister Ehud Barak, talks which were expected to include the Iranian nuclear threat.

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