September 22 – Nuclear experts and political dignitaries on Tuesday joined together in a conference in Paris to raise alarm over the threat of Iranâ€™s suspected nuclear program and discussed various ways of dealing with a full-blown crisis.
Speakers in the conference included several former prime ministers and ministers, as well as top nuclear experts. Renowned French philosopher AndrÃ© Glucksmann warned that an Iranian nuclear bomb represented the most serious threat to global peace and security since the Cold War.
Bruno Tertrais, director of defense studies in Franceâ€™s prestigious Foundation for Strategic Research, said that there were clear indications backing the claim that Iranâ€™s nuclear program is intended to produce a bomb.
Georges Le Guelte, director of research at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS), said it was time for Tehranâ€™s nuclear dossier to be hauled before the United Nations Security Council.
Franceâ€™s former Prime Minister Edith Cresson said Iranâ€™s bid to acquire nuclear weapons must be seen in the context of the growing radicalization of the Islamic state. She said the West must act united and with firmness, before it would be too late. Cresson said the West must stand on the side of the Iranian people, who seek to change the current regime.
The vice-Chairman of the French Parliamentâ€™s Foreign Affairs Committee and a former cabinet minister, FranÃ§ois Loncle, said that it was not good enough to simply refer Tehran to the Security Council and called for further action to ensure that the Iranian government would face consequences for the resumption of its suspended nuclear activities.
His comments were endorsed by Claude Goasguen, a prominent member of the French parliament from President Jacques Chiracâ€™s ruling UMP party, who said there was a clear need to support the political option in a resolute and creative way.
â€œThere is no doubt that the radical Islamic regime in Iran today is the biggest threat on the global scene,â€ Goasguen said.
FrÃ©dÃ©ric Encel, a professor of geopolitics in Paris universities, said that he was convinced from Tehranâ€™s recent activities and stances that it was pursuing a non-peaceful nuclear program.
Among the panelists calling for a fundamental change in policy vis-Ã -vis Tehran was Raymond Tanter, a founding member of the Washington-based Iran Policy Committee and a former staff member of the U.S. National Security Council. Tanter told the conference that the West would never be safe from the threat of nuclear-armed ayatollahs, unless it opted for the â€œregime change option.â€ He outlined a plan for â€œcoercive diplomacy,â€ which included support for the Iranian opposition.
Sid-Ahmed Ghozali, the former Algerian Prime Minister, called for a united front in dealing with Tehranâ€™s nuclear menace.