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Published on April 25, 2013
Excerpts from the hearing given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign

Affairs, before the National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee

Paris, April 17, 2013


Along with the other members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany – the so-called P5+1 group – France has adopted a two-pronged approach towards Iran of sanctions and negotiation. While Iran has the right to civilian nuclear energy, the international community regards it as unacceptable for her to obtain a nuclear weapon. That would in fact be a particularly dangerous factor of proliferation, given the region concerned and the nature of the regime in place. It would no doubt push countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and perhaps Jordan to want nuclear weapons too, further destabilizing the region.

In these circumstances, we have chosen a two-pronged approach consisting, on the one hand, of envisaging sanctions – basically economic – to encourage Iran to change her position and, on the other hand, of negotiating: negotiations have been taking place again in recent days in the Kazakh city of Almaty, but sadly they’ve made no progress. At this stage, the analysis of the Six is that Iran has not budged at all and has not given up the possibility of possessing a nuclear weapon. Last year, the experts agreed she was liable to obtain one within quite a short time. Today that seems to them further away, and they all agree that no change is likely before the presidential election planned for the end of June.

So, united with our P5+1 partners, we’re keeping up the pressure. It must be clear to the Iranians that we accept no other possibility than for them to forgo possessing a nuclear weapon. (…)./.

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