France is to take a tough line over Iran’s nuclear programme, President Francois Hollande told Israel’s prime minister on Friday. He is expecting hard concessions from his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.
According to AFP, Hollande said that his country is waiting to see whether Rouhani’s remarks at the UN General Assembly two weeks ago will be “translated into actions”.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has issued many warnings about Iran’s nuclear programme and said that it would be a mistake to lift sanctions against Tehran without making sure that Iran has stopped uranium enrichment to weapons grade. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Iran would offer to limit its production of nuclear fuel in return for the West easing sanctions.
Tehran will make the offer at a conference of the so-called P5+1 countries – the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany scheduled to take place next week in Geneva. Diplomats hope that the conference will mark the beginning of a new chapter in relations with Iran.
An official source suggested that Iran is expected to offer “to stop enriching uranium to levels of 20 per cent purity, which international powers consider dangerously close to a weapons-grade capability.” He also said that it would agree to ship its stockpile of nuclear fuel to a third country for storage, open its nuclear facilities to more thorough international inspections and close the enrichment facility near Qom.