Hollande to Netanyahu: We’ll Remain Tough on Iran

October 11, 2013  

French President Francois Hollande reassured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday that France will remain “tough” with Iran on its controversial nuclear program, reports AFP.

Hollande told Netanyahu in a telephone call that France would wait to see if the more moderate politics of Iran’s new leader Hassan Rouhani, who replaced hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June, would translate in his “actions”, the Elysee palace said, according to the news agency.

The conversation comes a day after Netanyahu, in a slew of interviews with influential European media, warned the West not to allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium.

In one interview with the television channel France24, Netanyahu urged France to be tough on Iran “with or without Rouhani’s smiles.”

His comments came after a historic handshake between the French and Iranian leaders on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.

“If they really wanted to dismantle their nuclear weapons program, they’d come out with it,” Netanyahu told France24.

In another interview with the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Netanyahu called for sanctions on the Tehran regime to be stepped up rather than eased.

“A bad deal is worse than no deal,” the prime minister was quoted as telling the newspaper.

Iran will meet with six world powers next week over its nuclear program which the West believes is being used to develop a nuclear bomb, a claim Tehran denies.

Rouhani wants sanctions imposed by the West on his country lifted and has indicated he favors a quick deal to end a stalemate to talks on the nuclear program, which have dragged on for eight years.

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