Q. – Do you think the current events in Yemen may call into question the agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme that is currently under discussion?
THE MINISTER – Just after this United Nations session, I’m going to Switzerland, where the meeting will be held. I’ll be there in the morning. In principle, the subjects are separate, but it’s true that Iran is declaring itself to be a peaceful power on the one hand, and on the other we can see what’s happening in Yemen.
To stick to the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, our position is known and has been the same since the outset. We think Iran has every right to use civilian nuclear energy, but by contrast, when it comes to an atomic bomb, we clearly say no. That’s what the discussions are focusing on. Iran has committed itself to not having an atomic bomb, but we must be certain that this commitment is lasting and verifiable and can’t be compromised.
There’s been some progress in the discussions but we think the only possibility of an agreement lies in what we call a robust agreement, and there’s still progress to be made on that: we haven’t reached the conclusion. We’re working towards this agreement; France, a power of security and peace, would like there to be an agreement, but it can exist only if it’s robust.
That’s why it’s absolutely natural for us to verify the reliability of Iran’s commitments, and furthermore, if we sign an agreement that isn’t sufficiently robust, the other countries in the region risk also wanting nuclear weapons if Iran too has an opportunity to obtain one. We’d then be in a frightening situation whereby the Middle East, which is already an explosive region, would be filled with powers that have atomic bombs. That’s what we must avoid; we’re working to do so.
People are saying France’s position is firm. I confirm that: we’re a power of peace and security; we want the agreement to be robust and respected. (…)./.