Iran with nuclear arms unacceptable: Sarkozy (Lead)

June 23rd, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem, June 23 (DPA) Saying Israel was “not alone” in its efforts to block Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, French President Nicholas Sarkozy Monday said that an Iran with nuclear weapons was “unacceptable” and promised his country would always defend the Jewish state against existential threats. “Anyone trying to destroy Israel will find France blocking the way,” he said in an emotional speech to the Knesset in Jerusalem.

“The French people will always be at your side when you are threatened.”

Israel regards Iran is its prime existential threat, given Tehran’s nuclear weapons programme, and comments by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders that Israel should be wiped off the map.

The French president, in Israel on a three-day visit, told the assembled lawmakers and other guests at the legislature that a viable, democratic and modern Palestinian state could best guarantee Israel’s security, comments he first made shortly after his arrival Sunday night.

Sarkozy, accompanied by his wife Carla, arrived at the Knesset from a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Centre in Jerusalem.

Sarkozy met President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Sunday night.

The French leader is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem Tuesday.

He also plans to meet the parents of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Gazan militants two years ago in a cross-border raid and still held captive. Shalit has French citizenship.

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