Statement by Ministry Spokesperson on the Possibility of Sanctions on Iran (Excerpts)

April 11, 2006

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Q - (...) I gather Javier Solana presented a document yesterday on steps for possible sanctions, in particular a visa ban on Iran's leaders, suspending exchange programs and blocking certain sensitive exports. I'd like your opinion on these. Has the time come to begin thinking about targeted sanctions against Teheran?

Catherine Colonna referred to the document yesterday. It's a document containing ideas which was presented by Mr Solana. It's an options paper--there are many such papers in the European Union--which obviously doesn't have the value of a decision.

At the same time, it's true, we are exploring ideas. The minister himself, after the Berlin meeting on Iran, said we had to think about negative measures in the event Iran doesn't comply with the Security Council demands. The negative measures may be restrictive, such as those you mentioned, or maybe something else. We have to think also about positive measures. The minister delegate said yesterday that France, in the event Iran did comply with the IAEA and Security Council obligations, was ready to consider a generous offer to Iran.

We are considering both sides of the picture in terms of negative and positive measures, knowing that time is running out now. At the end of the month, we'll have reached the end of the 30-day period which was given to Iran, and normally we'll have a report from the IAEA at that time.

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