Iran General NewsFrench envoy condemns Iran statements

French envoy condemns Iran statements

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AP: A French ambassador summoned by Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned recent comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implying Israel would be destroyed, a French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Monday. The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — A French ambassador summoned by Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned recent comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implying Israel would be destroyed, a French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Monday.

Pascale Andreani confirmed that France’s ambassador to Iran had been summoned over the weekend as part of a continuing dispute between the two countries — largely over Iran’s nuclear program. Iranian news reports Sunday said the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassador, Bernard Poletti, to protest France’s policy toward Iran’s nuclear activities.

France has been a vocal supporter of new sanctions against Iran because of the country’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or fissile material for a bomb.

Andreani said Poletti took advantage of the summons to protest “unacceptable” comments Ahmadinejad made last week during a speech in the southern port of Bushehr implying that Israel would be destroyed.

Poletti reiterated the French position that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israeli-Lebanese relations cannot serve as a pretext to question Israel’s right to exist,” Andreani said in an online briefing Monday.

She said the ambassador also emphasized the “very negative impact of these comments on the international community’s perception of Iran.”

Last week, France’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to Paris, Ali Ahani, to protest Ahmadinejad’s comments.

The retaliatory summonses were the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries, which have been squaring off over Iran’s nuclear program. France, along with some of the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, is considering a new draft resolution that calls for additional sanctions against Iran, including tavel bans on individuals involved in the Iranian nuclear program.

Paris has also led a separate push for new sanctions by the 27-member European Union.

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