Joint Press Conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President George W. Bush (Excerpts)

November 7, 2007

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Q. - With oil approaching $100 a barrel, are you concerned that your hard words for Iran on its nuclear programme are helping drive up oil prices, which can end up hurting the US economy?


THE PRESIDENT - I want to say that we have exchanged all the information we had. Iran's possession of nuclear weapons is unacceptable. But Iran is entitled to the energy of the future, which is civilian nuclear energy. I believe in the effectiveness of sanctions. I even believe in the need to strengthen them. But to my mind, they complement the policy of reaching out to the Iranians, having a dialogue with them, pursuing discussions, because Iran deserves better than that isolation. And I can't imagine there not being people at the top in Iran thinking about the consequences of what's happening. It's a great civilization, they are a great people. You have to be firm for as long as there's no gesture from them. And the path of dialogue has to be maintained, because we need to talk to avoid the worst. Our long conversation about this revealed that we have very similar views.

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