Statements Made by Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Spokesperson on Iran Sanctions

November 22, 2011

Yesterday, President Sarkozy sent a letter to his German, British, American, Canadian and Japanese counterparts, as well as to the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission recommending new sanctions of unprecedented magnitude in order to convince Iran that it must now make the strategic choice to enter into genuine negotiations and to fulfill its international obligations.

President Sarkozy notably proposed immediately freezing the assets of Iran's central bank, as well as suspending purchases of Iranian oil.

Iran has been pursuing an illegal nuclear program and developing a military nuclear capability for more than 10 years now, as the IAEA has just shown. Iran is conducting these activities in violation of its international obligations, notably under the non-proliferation regime. As a reminder, the international Security Council has adopted six resolutions on the Iranian nuclear issue; the IAEA Board of Governors has adopted 11 resolutions.

The Board of Governors expressed its "deep and growing concern" regarding this issue in a new resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority on Friday, November 18.

Once again, we urge Iran to shed full light on its sensitive nuclear activities, to immediately and unconditionally cooperate with the IAEA and to heed the message addressed to it by the international community.

The measures announced by several close partners of France respond to the attitude of Iran, which is accelerating its nuclear program, rejecting negotiations, and condemning its people to increasing economic and political isolation. Obviously, we are working in close cooperation with our partners toward implementing the measures proposed by President Sarkozy yesterday, notably in preparation for the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on December 1, and the European Council meeting on December 8.

We're engaging in continuous consultations with our partners - with the partners that the President wrote to, all our EU partners of course, as well as our Gulf partners. You will have noted that the Minister is currently visiting this region; its countries are extremely concerned by the threat posed by Iran.

Upcoming events include the next EU meetings (December 1 and December 8). As for the rest, you will be notified, as always, in good time.