London, Nov. 29 – French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin warned Iran’s clerical government on Tuesday to accept the latest European offer on its controversial nuclear program, or brace itself for a confrontation with the United Nations Security Council.
In an interview with CNN’s chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, de Villepin said, “We have made an offer [to Iran]. … If they don't accept... then we will have to go to the Security Council”.
“I think it is in the interests of the international community, in the interests of Iran, to accept these proposals”, the French premier said.
France, Britain and Germany – the “EU-3” – have led negotiations with Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program since 2003. The talks broke off earlier this year when Iran unilaterally breached its agreement by resuming suspended activities of the nuclear fuel cycle.
Iran’s ultra-Islamist officials and media have been celebrating their “victory” over the West in the wake of the reported decision by the EU-3 to drop their demand that Iran shut down its nuclear plant in Isfahan before the resumption of talks.
Asked if it was true that “the EU3 is ready to start negotiations again”, de Villepin said, “No. We have made an offer. And Iran has decided to resume the enrichment of uranium, the conversion of uranium, and I think it is very important now today to put pressure on Iran to make sure that they accept this offer”.
The French Prime Minister said that it was difficult to predict Tehran’s response to the European offer.
He hinted that France would not oppose Security Council sanctions on Iran if it refused to cooperate with the international community. Asked what sanctions he could foresee, he said, “There is one key factor of diplomacy, never tell what you will do before”.