Bloomberg: French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Iran is taking a "major risk" in developing a nuclear program that may provoke an attack by Israel.
By Francois de Beaupuy
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Iran is taking a "major risk" in developing a nuclear program that may provoke an attack by Israel.
"Iran is taking a major risk in continuing its process of obtaining nuclear weapons, which we are certain is happening," Sarkozy said today in Damascus, Syria. "One day, whatever the Israeli government is, we can imagine ourselves one morning with an Israel which would have attacked. That would be a disaster."
Sarkozy spoke after meeting Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, an Iranian ally, pressing an effort to urge leaders in Tehran to cease its uranium-enrichment program and welcome international inspectors. The French president is stepping up efforts to deepen France's political influence in the Middle East and North Africa. The resumption of diplomatic ties with Syria followed Assad's help ending an 18-month-long political deadlock in Lebanon in May.
Sarkozy and Assad met today as part of a four-way summit with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Jacques Chirac, Sarkozy's predecessor, cut ties to Syria following the assassination of his friend, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, in 2005. A United Nations investigation into the killing implicated Syrian officials. Syria has denied any involvement.
Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and says it's developing civil nuclear energy.