AFP: French President Nicolas Sarkozy hit out at the Iranian leadership Monday, saying Iranians deserved better after the hotly disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June.
BERLIN (AFP) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy hit out at the Iranian leadership Monday, saying Iranians deserved better after the hotly disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June.
"The people of Iran deserve better than their current leaders," Sarkozy said on Monday in Berlin following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "I want to say how much we admire the courage of the Iranian people.
Merkel and Sarkozy both reiterated that they wanted tighter sanctions against Iran if Tehran failed to engage with the international community over its disputed nuclear programme.
"It is important that a clear statement comes from Iran on whether they are interested in talks, on whether they accept the offers of the international community," Merkel said.
"If that is not the case then we will of course have to discuss in September, including in Pittsburgh (at the G20 summit on September 24-25), further sanctions.
"France and Germany are both of the opinion that harder sanctions would then have to follow," she said.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany will meet near Frankfurt on Wednesday to discuss Iran, a Russian deputy foreign minister said Friday.
Iran has defied UN Security Council sanctions by continuing to enrich uranium, a process which makes fuel for nuclear power plants but can also form the core of an atomic bomb.
The permanent members of the UN Security Council – plus Germany form a six-strong contact group with Iran.