Paris: French President Nicolas Sarkozy
on Saturday warned that any foreign military intervention against
Iran`s nuclear programme would trigger "war and chaos" across
the Middle East and beyond.
"Time is limited. France will do everything to avoid
military intervention, but there is only one way to avoid it:
a much tougher, more decisive, sanctions regime," Sarkozy told
an audience of diplomats in Paris.
He called on all countries to freeze Iranian central bank
assets and halt imports of Iranian oil.
"Those who do not want to reinforce sanctions against a
regime which is leading its country into disaster by seeking a
nuclear weapon will bear responsibility for the risk of a
military breakdown," he warned.
"And I say to our Chinese and Russian friends: Help us
guarantee peace in the world ... we clearly need you," he
"A military intervention would not solve the problem but
would unleash war and chaos in the Middle East and perhaps,
alas, the world," he warned.
France has been one of the loudest Western voices pushing
for economic sanctions to force Iran to abandon its nuclear
programme, which Paris fears could lead to the Islamic regime
developing an atomic bomb.
But it remains opposed to calls from some hawks in the
United States and Israel for air strikes against Iranian
Iran insists its nuclear fuel enrichment programme is
designed to produce fuel for reactors in future civilian power
stations and for medical isotopes.
Tehran has vowed to defeat any military intervention and
has warned that it may attempt to block shipping lanes and
choke off oil exports from the Gulf if sanctions target its
own energy industry or banks.
Britain and the United States have tightened their
economic sanctions while the European Union is to meet next
week and is expected to approve new measures against Iranian
oil exports and the financial sector.