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France to do everything to avoid military intervention in Iran: Sarkozy

01-21-2012 08:43 BJT

PARIS, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday stressed the urgent need for increased efforts to avoid a military intervention in Iran, while asking for tough sanctions to stop its uranium enrichment program.

"Military intervention would not solve the problem, but it would unleash war and chaos in the Middle East," Sarkozy said when presenting his New Year's greetings to diplomatic corps.

"Time is running out, France will do everything to avoid military intervention," he added.

Meanwhile, the president called for "tougher sanctions" against Iran including an embargo on its oil exports and the freezing of Iranian central bank's assets.

Sarkozy also called for Iran to "negotiate seriously" over its nuclear program.

Following an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran's nuclear program in November, the United States, Britain and Canada announced new sanctions against Tehran and are working to impose an embargo on Iran's crude exports.

In the report, the IAEA said Iran appeared to have sought nuclear weapon-making capabilities. But Tehran rejected the report and insisted its nuclear program was purely for peaceful purposes.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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