The first Western leader to expressly admit knowledge of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said: “It is a certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear (weapons) program.” He added: “We cannot let Iran acquire nuclear” weapons because it would also be a threat to Israel.” Sarkozy spoke during a meeting at the Elysee presidential palace with lawmakers from his UMP party Tuesday, Sept. 15.
The French president said he would not shake the hand (of Iran’s president at the UN General Assembly) of “someone who wants to wipe Israel off the map.”
DEBKAfile’s militlary sources add:
French intelligence has thus gone further than US intelligence agencies which maintained in an assessment to leaked to the media on Sept. 10: “Iran has created enough nuclear fuel to make a rapid, if risky, spring for a nuclear weapon,” and “Iran has deliberately stopped short of the critical last steps to make a bomb.”
France is one of the five permanent UN Security Council members with veto powers. Together with Germany they have agreed to meet Iranian representatives on Oct. 1 for talks, although Tehran insists they will not cover its “inalienable nuclear rights.”