French FM chides Royal for stance on Iran

France's foreign minister chided Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal on Tuesday for her unorthodox stance on Iran's nuclear program, which is so tough that it goes against an international treaty. During a visit to Israel, Royal said Monday that she would press the international community to ban Iran's access to nuclear power entirely if she was elected next year. Her stance goes much further than the French government's. Paris wants to punish Teheran for failing to halt uranium enrichment - which can produce material for atomic warheads as well as energy - but it says that, under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran can have access to nuclear power. "Questioning Iran's right to have civilian nuclear energy, as Madame Royal proposes, amounts to questioning the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was signed by almost all the world's countries," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters in Paris.