Claims by French President Nicolas Sarkozy that Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon are “baseless and far from reality,” Iranian foreign ministry’s spokesman said on Saturday.
“Apparently by making false claims, the French president wants to put pressure on Iran… (by forcing the imposition of) illegal and unfair sanctions,” Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement posted on the state broadcaster website.
Mehmanparast said he was surprised at the “baseless and far from reality remarks that our country’s nuclear activities are not peaceful.”
Sarkozy on Friday warned that stronger sanctions should be imposed on Iran by all countries to prevent a military attack against Iranian nuclear installations.
“Time is limited. France will do everything to avoid military intervention, but there is only one way to avoid it: a much tougher, more decisive, sanctions regime,” Sarkozy told an audience of diplomats in Paris.
“Those who do not want to reinforce sanctions against a regime which is leading its country into disaster by seeking a nuclear weapon will bear responsibility for the risk of a military breakdown,” he said.
Mehmanparast’s remarks come as the European Union is to meet next week and is expected to approve new measures against Iran’s oil exports and its financial sector.
Iran insists its nuclear work is designed to master civilian applications of the technology, against the backdrop of fears in the West that the Islamic republic is developing an atomic weapons programme.
Tehran is subject to four rounds of UN sanctions, as well as unilateral punitive measures adopted by the United States, the EU and individual Western governments.