Daily Israel Report

France: Israel Not Doing Enough, Iran ?Stabilizing Element?

French leaders praised Iran and disparaged Israel on Monday in two separate news conferences held in Beirut and in the Paris area.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 7/31/2006, 2:10 PM / Last Update: 7/31/2006, 4:30 PM

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin told reporters at the news conference in France that Israel’s willingness to suspend its air strikes on Hizbullah terror targets was “only a first step, but still not enough.” De Villepin maintained that the “cessation of the aerial attacks is insufficient in light of the situation in Lebanon.”

At the news conference held in Beirut, French Foreign Minister Phillippe Douste-Blazy praised Iran as a “stabilizing force in the Middle East.” Douste-Blazy told reporters that Iran "is an outstanding country with great people and an honorable civilization. It has a crucial role in the region.”

Iran is the primary patron of the Hizbullah terror organization, which has fired close to 1,800 Katyusha missiles at northern Israeli communities in the past 20 days, killing 19 civilians and injuring hundreds more.

Iran has armed Hizbullah with long-range rockets equipped with warheads containing more than 100 kg. of explosive material and little metal balls designed to wound large numbers of people and create maximum damage.

Hizbullah started the current war with Israel with a major attack on July 12th in which terrorists kidnapped two IDF soldiers, killed four others and fired Katyusha rockets at Israeli towns along the northern border. Four other soldiers were killed in their tank by a mine when they set off in pursuit of their kidnapped colleagues.

Iran also continues to refuse to end its uranium enrichment program, in direct violation of international law. Ongoing efforts by the international community to convince Iran to end the program, which is a precursor to the development of a nuclear weapon, have been fruitless thus far.