Daily Israel Report

Sarkozy: We're Committed to Israel's Safety

French President Nicolas Sarkozy: If Iran threatens Israel, France will not stand by and ignore it.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 11/4/2011, 10:36 PM

Sarkozy and Netanyahu
Sarkozy and Netanyahu
Flash 90

French President Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated his country’s commitment to act in case of a threat to Israel’s existence by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Iran’s behavior and its obsession over the desire to achieve military nuclear capability is a violation of international law,” Sarkozy was quoted by Channel 10 News as having said.

“France strongly condemns Iran’s noncompliance of these laws,” the French President added. He stressed that pressure must be placed on Tehran through sanctions and rejected the military option at this time, but clarified, “If Israel’s existence will be threatened, France will not stand by and ignore it.”

Sarkozy spoke ahead of the publishing of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the Iranian nuclear program. The report, which is due to be published next week, has been termed “critical” by the United States.

On Thursday, the White House said that President Barack Obama and Sarkozy had discussed the Iranian matter in advance of the G20 (Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors) summit in Europe.

“President Sarkozy and I agree on the need to maintain the unprecedented pressure [by the international community] on Iran to meet its obligations,” Obama later told reporters in Cannes.

Meanwhile, Channel 10 quoted an IAEA official who said on Friday, “There are parts of the Iranian nuclear program that are clearly are used for concealed purposes. This information is very convincing.”

However, despite the mounting evidence against Iran, the United States clarified on Thursday that it has not yet given up on diplomatic methods to prevent its nuclear program.

“What we’re focused on is a diplomatic strategy which increases the pressure on the Iranians, through financial pressure, through economic sanctions, through diplomatic isolation,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told reporters.

He admitted, however that Iran “has been unable to demonstrate the peaceful intent of its nuclear program” and that it is “the only treaty member of the (Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty) that cannot convince the International Atomic Energy Agency that their program is peaceful.”

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also addressed the Iranian issue on Thursday, telling reporters that while the Obama administration does “not seek a military confrontation with Iran,” it was not closing the door on any option.

“We are going to use every means at our disposal to continue to try to increase the international pressure on Iran to meet its IAEA obligations and to come clean on its nuclear program,” Nuland told reporters in Washington.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)