AFP: French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that Europe’s security was “at stake” because countries like Iran were increasing the range of their missiles. CHERBOURG, France (AFP) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that Europe’s security was “at stake” because countries like Iran were increasing the range of their missiles.
“Everyone should be aware today that nuclear missiles of countries, even if they are far away, can reach Europe in less than half an hour,” he said in a defence policy speech as he inaugurated a new nuclear submarine named The Terrible.
“Today, only the major powers have such means. But countries in Asia and the Middle East are rapidly developing ballistic capacities,” he said.
“I am thinking in particular of Iran” which is “increasing the range of its missiles while serious suspicions weigh on its nuclear programme.”
He said that “it is of course the security of Europe that is at stake.”
Western nations led by the United States accuse Iran of seeking to develop the atomic bomb, a charge which Tehran rejects, insisting that its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful and aimed at meeting energy needs.
France has toughened its line on Iran since Sarkozy’s election last May, and is now much closer to that of the United States.