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The Iranian nuclear program is a dangerous gamble which may lead to a "catastrophic" Israeli military strike, French President Nicholas Sarkozy warned on Thursday.
"Iran is taking a very big chance when it continues with the process of attaining nuclear weapons - and on that we are certain," Sarkozy said during a press conference in Damascus. "We may wake up to the day when Israel - regardless of who is in charge - attacks."
"The question here is not whether an attack of this sort is legitimate or worthwhile," he continued. "The question is what will be done in that instance."
"It would be a catastrophe and we must prevent it," Sarkozy concluded.
The French president spoke at a news conference which marked the opening of a summit in Damascus with the leaders of Syria, Turkey and Qatar to discuss Mideast stability and peace. After arriving in Damascus on Wednesday, Sarkozy encouraged Syrian President Bashar Assad to persuade its ally Iran to cooperate with the international community and end its nuclear standoff.
"Iran must not have a nuclear weapon. ... Nuclear weapons in Iran are a threat to peace in the region and the world. Everybody, in their own way, should get the message through," Sarkozy said.
Assad, who recently visited Teheran but apparently failed to persuade Iranians on the nuclear question, said he would continue that dialogue with the Iranian and French sides.
"We hope to reach a resolution to this problem. No one in the world can bear the consequences of any non-peaceful resolution because it will be a catastrophe," Assad said.
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