Hollande Lays Out Four Conditions for Iran Agreement
French President Francois Hollande reiterated on Sunday evening that his country would never tolerate nuclear proliferation, AFP reports.
Speaking in a news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, hours after he arrived in Israel for his first official visit as France’s president, Hollande laid out four demands which he said must be in place for any deal with Iran to be successful.
"France is in favor of an interim agreement but on the basis of four points," he said, according to AFP.
"The first demand: put all the Iranian nuclear installations under international supervision, right now. Second point: suspend enrichment to 20 percent. Thirdly: to reduce the existing stock,” added Hollande.
"And finally, to halt construction of the Arak (heavy water) plant. These are the points which for us are essential to guarantee any agreement," he declared.
Hollande’s visit to Israel comes days after talks between Iran and world powers in Geneva ended without a deal, largely in part thanks to France’s firm stance on the issue. Talks are to resume on Wednesday.
Israel has warned the international community it was likely to reach a better deal by keeping the sanctions in place or even ratcheting them up.
Speaking at the same news conference, Netanyahu said, "I'm concerned, gravely concerned, that this deal will go through and in one stroke of the pen, it will reduce the sanctions on Iran -- sanctions that took years to put in place -- and in return for this, Iran gives practically nothing.”
"It's clear that this agreement is good only for Iran and that it's really bad for the rest of the world," he added. "Iran's dream deal is the world's nightmare."
Hollande said earlier that “a true agreement will be possible only if Iran gives up on nuclear weapons forever.”
Hollande, who travels Monday to Ramallah to discuss the peace talks which have limped along for three months with little signs of progress, also said France expects Israel to make "gestures" over its construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
"Some gestures have already been started by Israel," he said, referring to Israel's release of terrorists. "Other gestures are expected, especially in the area of settlements."
Referring to the peace talks, Netanyahu said earlier Sunday he was waiting for PA concessions to move the talks forward.
"They're not frozen. We're talking," the Israeli leader said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. But "it's time to talk about Palestinian concessions, too. Like recognizing the Jewish state," Netanyahu said.
"You want us to recognize the Palestinian state for the Palestinian people. How about recognizing the Jewish state for the Jewish people," he said.
Last week, the entire PA negotiating team resigned in protest against continued Israeli construction of homes in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.