French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Comments on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803

March 4, 2008

Let me read you the communiqué the Foreign Ministry issued yesterday:

"By a vote of 14, and one abstention, the United Nations Security Council adopted a third sanctions resolution against Iran. This resolution expresses, once again, the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program-concerns recently strengthened by evidence gathered by the IAEA concerning activities that could indicate a military dimension to the Iranian nuclear program.

By refusing to implement the measures successively demanded by the IAEA's Board of Governors and the Security Council to rebuild trust, Iran has left the international community no choice but to adopt new sanctions. The Security Council is thus formulating a call for vigilance and interdictions affecting several aspects of relations between Iran and the rest of the international community: They include activities by Iranian banks, notably Melli and Saderat, involved in proliferating transfers, the export of dual-use items, and transportation and shipping activities.

But sanctions are not an end in themselves. The resolution also recalls that the Six (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) want a negotiated solution, as the six foreign ministers stressed in their joint declaration following the vote. The Security Council resolution recalls the efforts expended by the Six to engage in a dialogue with Iran and, in particular, the ambitious proposal they made in June 2006 providing for cooperation in the area of civilian nuclear power as well as economic and political cooperation if Iran would agree to suspend its sensitive nuclear activities and to negotiate. This proposal remains on the table and we call on Iran once again to seize this opportunity to achieve a solution in the interest of all."

Q - Do you have a system to evaluate the effectiveness of sanctions against Iran?

As we indicated when we reported to you about the information we had received from the IAEA, we've seen that Iran has replied to some of our questions, which shows the effect of the pressure exerted by the sanctions. However, Iran's answers to date remain utterly incomplete and imprecise. We have strong concerns about the nature of the program Iran is developing. Based on what Iran has indicated to it, the Agency is not able to declare that its nuclear program is not military. The sanctions are effective, but our objective is still a negotiated solution. Sanctions are not an end in themselves. Our approach is based both on dialogue and firmness. We hope for dialogue, and the sanctions are there to lead the Iranians to dialogue, to make them understand that it is in their interest, as in the international community's.

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