Thursday, August 03, 2006

French Foreign Min Condemns Iran's Call To Destroy Israel

Dow Jones Newswires:
France's foreign minister condemned Iran's call on Thursday to destroy Israel, saying Iran is ruining its chances to play a positive and stabilizing role in the Middle East. "I totally condemn these words," Philippe Douste-Blazy said on France-Inter radio, in response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statement Thursday that the solution to the current Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel.

The words are "absolutely unacceptable on anyone's part, especially from a head of state," Douste-Blazy said. READ MORE

France, which has led efforts to end the fighting in Lebanon, has said Iran could play a stabilizing role in the conflict.

Douste-Blazy said Thursday that the crisis had presented an opportunity for Iran to "show that it can play a positive and stabilizing role in the region," but added that Ahmadinejad's statement "confirmed that this is not the case."

Douste-Blazy said he would do everything he could to help persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program before Aug. 31, a deadline set by a U.N. resolution that could pave the way for sanctions against Iran if it doesn't comply.