AFP: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent a letter to his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy following recent French criticism of Tehran’s nuclear drive, a senior official said on Saturday. TEHRAN (AFP) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent a letter to his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy following recent French criticism of Tehran’s nuclear drive, a senior official said on Saturday.
“President Ahmadinejad’s letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy concerns the current relations between Iran and France and their prospect,” the state IRNA news agency quoted Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi as saying.
But Hashemi, a top presidential advisor, said Tehran took exception to what he described as “distorted” reports about the content of the letter.
“Most of the information published about this letter has been distorted,” he said.
France’s Le Monde newspaper, citing diplomatic sources, said the letter had an “acrimonious” tone and contained “veiled threats”.
Ahmadinejad had offered to give advice to the French president whom he branded as a “young and inexperienced” leader, the report said.
“Ahmadinejad has hinted that France and Iran have ‘historic ties’ and ‘common interests’, most notably in Lebanon, which would be a pity to reduce to nothing,” the French daily added.
Since Sarkozy’s election, France has adopted a tougher line with Iran over its nuclear programme, which is feared by the West to cover an atomic weapons drive — charges that Tehran vehemently denies.
Tehran has also been concerned about France’s rapprochement with the United States, whish is leading international efforts to thwart Iran’s atomic programme.
Since his June 2005 election, Ahmadinejad has written a succession of letters explaining his world view to world leaders including US President George W. Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Pope Benedict XVI.