AFP: Britain said Thursday it “wholeheartedly” backs French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s call for the European Union to consider new economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear regime. LONDON (AFP) – Britain said Thursday it “wholeheartedly” backs French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s call for the European Union to consider new economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear regime.
“We support Kouchner’s position wholeheartedly and we’re looking forward to a discussion with our EU partners,” a Foreign Office spokesman told AFP.
“We obviously work very, very closely with the French and the Germans and others on this…and we are very supportive of the French position on this.”
The spokesman also noted that the EU had been preparing for such a scenario for a while.
“We’ve already expected for some time that there would be a discussion within the European Union about what we could do to bring additional pressure to bear on the Iranians,” he said.
“The European Union have played a very valuable role in all this through the last few years.
“And obviously we’re in a position now where we will want to look closely at what more we can do to persuade the Iranian regime to fulfill their obligations.”
In a letter released Wednesday, Kouchner proposed exploring “new European measures” straight away in parallel to negotiations on a new United Nations Security Council resolution.
Since the election of President Nicolas Sarkozy, France has considerably toughened its position towards Iran and called for new sanctions to oblige Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.
Last month, Kouchner said of relations with Iran: “We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war.” He later clarified his comments to his Iranian counterpart, saying he wanted to avoid war.