French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Spokesperson Remarks on Increasing Likelihood of Iran Sanctions (Excerpts)

May 4, 2010

Why did the French delegation walk out when President Ahmadinejad spoke yesterday in New York?

These speeches are not what we want from Iran: we want this country to take actions and to start complying with its non-proliferation obligations; we have been waiting for it to comply with these for many years now.

Our delegation in New York, like many other European delegations and delegations from other continents walked out in order to signal their opposition to the Iranian President's statements. These statements go against the spirit of this NPT Review Conference. We are waiting for Iran to take actions so that it starts to comply with its non-proliferation obligations and so that it will respond to the serious concerns of the international community. I want to remind you that yesterday the Austrian, Czech, Italian, German, Dutch, Belgian, as well as the Australian and Moroccan delegations walked out. This is not an exhaustive list. Many delegations were shocked by these statements.

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Is this episode likely to accelerate the decision regarding new sanctions?

Unfortunately, it confirms Iran's lack of willingness to comply with its obligations under the NPT.

Do you feel that as a result of this we need to move more quickly and in a more concrete way towards imposing sanctions?

It confirms that Iran is still not responding positively to the expectations of the international community and, under these circumstances, we are continuing to work towards a sanctions resolution at the UN Security Council. I want to remind you that while Mr. Ahmadinejad is giving this type of speech at the UN podium, the centrifuges are continuing to spin, in violation of Iran's obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Is the proposal to supply fuel to the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) still valid?

Iran would still need to respond to this proposal. For the moment, we don't have any response and we need two parties in order to engage in dialogue.

Have the incidents in New York reduced the chances for dialogue with Iran?

The Six-party approach towards Iran is based on dialogue and firmness. We have never ceased engaging in dialogue, but we are on our own. Consequently, we are following the path of firmness and sanctions because we do not have any other solutions.

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