AFP: Iran's foreign ministry has lashed out at French President Nicolas Sarkozy for saying his intelligence services are certain Tehran is working on a nuclear weapons programme. TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran's foreign ministry has lashed out at French President Nicolas Sarkozy for saying his intelligence services are certain Tehran is working on a nuclear weapons programme.
The president's remarks were "very far from a realistic and correct understanding of Iran's peaceful nuclear programme," ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said, quoted by ISNA news agency.
The remark had been "issued with utmost bias and is politically motivated," the spokesman said.
On Tuesday, Sarkozy said the French intelligence services were certain that Iran was working towards a nuclear weapons programme.
"We cannot let Iran acquire nuclear" weapons because it would also be a threat to Israel, Sarkozy said during a meeting at the Elysee presidential palace with MPs from his conservative UMP party.
"It is a certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear (weapons) programme," he said.
Ghashghavi said Sarkozy's comments were "overtly contradictory" to statements made by other members of the P5+1 group comprised of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.
"This kind of comment will not influence or effect Iran's determination to pursue its rights and will also not impact the cooperation between the Islamic republic of Iran and the IAEA," Ghashghavi said referring to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
France and the other five world powers will hold talks with Iran on its nuclear programme on October 1.
The United States, the European Union and Israel fear that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear power programme, but Tehran denies the charge and insists its programme is peaceful.
The United Nations Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions against Iran over its refusal to freeze its uranium enrichment activities which could be used to build an atomic bomb.