Iran Nuclear NewsFrance, Russia move closer on Iran

France, Russia move closer on Iran

-

AP: French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after talks Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the two countries had bridged some of their differences on the Iran nuclear standoff. Associated Press

By ANGELA CHARLTON

Associated Press Writer

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (AP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after talks Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the two countries had bridged some of their differences on the Iran nuclear standoff.

Sarkozy has taken a firm line on Iran in recent months, shifting closer to the United States in his insistence on tough U.N. Security Council sanctions and even his mention of the possibility of war. While the United States and European nations are pressing for greater sanctions, Russia and China have resisted.

“Our positions moved much closer together” on Iran and other sensitive subjects, Sarkozy told reporters during his first presidential visit to Russia. He mentioned “many convergences” on Iran but would not elaborate.

Putin heads to Iran early next week amid heightened international tensions over Tehran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment – activity the U.S. claims is aimed at building weapons but Iran insists is for peaceful purposes.

Asked whether Putin could present a new proposal to the Iranians to defuse the standoff, Sarkozy responded only that Putin’s trip would be “very useful.”

In brief remarks to reporters before their talks, the two did not mention any of their points of discord, including Iran’s nuclear program or Russia’s use of its energy supplies to pressure neighboring countries.

“We need, for the peace of the world, to work together,” Sarkozy said.

The French leader said he discussed diplomatic successes with North Korea as a possible example for the Iran dilemma, noting the influence China had in bringing North Koreans to negotiations.

Sarkozy said the two also discussed Kosovo and Putin’s political future among several other topics during three hours of talks Tuesday night.

Upon arrival at Putin’s forest estate Tuesday night, Sarkozy stayed firm with the Russian president, saying he would defend France’s convictions. But he also said he would try to understand Russia, whose relations with Iran and increasing assertiveness have raised global concern.

“I appreciate the strength of your convictions,” Sarkozy told Putin. “I think that we can understand each other, because such convictions, I have them too.”

Sarkozy added that France wants to be Russia’s “friend.” Putin responded with an oft-repeated verse from 19th century Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev: “One cannot understand Russia with the mind. … One can only believe in it.”

Putin expressed hope that trade between the countries would grow.

“France has been and I hope will be a priority partner in Europe and the world,” he said.

Off camera, the two presidents chatted about jogging and swimming, and Sarkozy rode shotgun as Putin drove him across the grounds in a Mercedes.

Associated Press writer Steve Gutterman in Moscow contributed to this report.

Latest news

Iran’s 2023 Budget Shrouded In Doubt

On January 22, the Majlis (parliament) approved the draft of the 2023 budget bill proposed by regime president Ebrahim...

Iran: People of Khoy Still Reeling From 5.9-Magnitude Earthquake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 struck northwest Iran on Saturday, killing at least three people and injuring...

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Must read

Workers blockade major highway to Iran capital

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Mar. 01 – Textile workers...

Army interpreter faces spy trial

Press Association: An Iranian-born Army interpreter accused of spying...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you