Sarkozy warns Iran of isolation over nuclear programme

June 4th, 2009 - 8:23 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 4 (DPA) French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Iran Wednesday that it faces increasing isolation from the international community if it refuses to negotiate over its nuclear programme.
Sarkozy, who met with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Paris, said Iran must respect UN resolutions and only negotiations would pave the way for cooperation.

According to an Elysee Palace statement, Sarkozy told Mottaki about his “profound concern over Iran’s (nuclear) proliferation programme” and about France’s desire to contribute to a solution to the crisis.

France belongs to the so-called E3+3 group - with Britain and Germany, plus the US, Russia, and China - which has been trying to convince Iran to give up its programme of uranium enrichment, a key stage in developing a nuclear weapon.

Most Western powers and Israel believe that Iran wants to develop nuclear arms.

Sarkozy also fiercely criticized statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refuting the historical existence of the Holocaust.

The Iranian president’s statements were “unacceptable and deeply shocking,” Sarkozy’s office at the Elysee Palace said after the meeting.

According to the ISNA news agency, Ahmadinejad had earlier Wednesday described the Holocaust as “an historical deception” and called Israel “the most criminal bogus regime in history”.

The meeting with Mottaki, at which French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also took part, was Sarkozy’s first with a senior Iranian official since he took office in May 2007.

Sarkozy refuses to meet Ahmadinejad because of his open hostility to Israel. The Iranian leader has on several occasions said that Israel should be “erased” from the map.

Last month, Sarkozy inaugurated a French military base in Abu Dhabi, just across the Strait of Hormuz from Iran.

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