French President Nicolas Sarkozy has for the first time directly accused Iran of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. Sarkozy told TF1 and France 2, France’s major TV channels, on Thursday night that "Iran is trying to acquire the nuclear bomb. I have said that this is not acceptable, and I'm telling the French people that it is unacceptable.”
The French president said that the international community should continue working to convince Iran to renounce its ambitions just as it did with North Korea and Libya, through discussions, dialogue and sanctions. "If the current sanctions are not effective, let us go for tougher sanctions," Sarkozy said.
In a related development, the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner today told Iran’s nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani that his remarks about impending war with Iran were taken out of context. Kouchner told Larijani that he was in favor of taking measures to prevent an armed conflict taking place.