Reuters: French President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened on Wednesday to press for tougher sanctions on Iran and repeated his call for broad international action to curb financial market abuses.
By James Mackenzie
PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened on Wednesday to press for tougher sanctions on Iran and repeated his call for broad international action to curb financial market abuses.
In his annual address to France's ambassadors, Sarkozy repeated his longstanding call for a stronger governance of the global economy before a meeting of the Group of 20 nations in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh next month.
"The current crisis should make us profoundly rethink a form of globalization that has gone completely astray," he said. "It is for a simple reason which is that there is a world market but there is no global regulation."
He also lambasted the leadership of Iran and said tougher sanctions would have to be discussed if Tehran does not change its position on the contentious nuclear program that the West believes is aimed at developing a nuclear bomb.
Iran says its program is aimed at civil nuclear energy but the standoff has been fueled by Western criticism of its disputed June presidential election.
"It is the same leaders in Iran who say that the nuclear program is peaceful and that the elections were honest. Who can believe them?," Sarkozy said.
He said the issue would be discussed when world leaders meet in New York at the end of September and he said that if there were no change in Iran's stance, "the question of very substantial strengthening of sanctions will be clearly asked."
Fresh from a three-week vacation in the south of France after a health scare just before the summer break, Sarkozy, again staked his claim to leading the response to the financial crisis a day after setting new limits on bankers' bonuses.
"I will not accept that those who plunged us into the most serious crisis since 1930 are allowed to start again as before," he said. "France will not accept this. Everyone should accept responsibility.
Sarkozy said a deal on climate change at the Copenhagen summit in December would be vital and urged the creation of a single global body that would be the "cornerstone" of monitoring efforts to ensure that summit commitments were met.
Tougher environmental standards would have to be part of a new regulatory system that would affect the way international bodies like the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation worked.
"The World Trade Organisation should not be determined by global trade criteria alone," he said.
He said the crisis was also a chance for public authorities to re-establish their position in the global system and he called for Europe to assume its full place in the world, powered by French and German leadership.
"Europe is not an immense NGO…Europe is a commercial, political, economic, military power and must defend its interests, be it in the Balkans, Georgia, Chad or off the coast of Somalia."
He repeated his call for Israel to suspend settlement building in the occupied territory and said Europe would back a new summit in the autumn to go along with the start of a new round of peace talks.
(Additional reporting by Sophie Hardach and Tamora Vidaillet; Editing by Angus MacSwan)