05 February 2010
At the gala annual dinner of the French Jewish umbrella organization, CRIF, in Paris, France’s Prime Minister, François Fillon, has said that his government would ask the United Nations to adopt “strong” new sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s unwillingness to enter into talks over the Iranian nuclear program. “It is not too late to use political means to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear military capacity, but time is running out,” he told the 800 guests. He called on the European Union to also “assume its responsibilities" in the Iran dossier.
“While we have not spared efforts, but the Iranian government did not want to accept our offer of dialogue…So now the time has come to act,”” Fillon said, adding that Israel’s security was “an absolute priority for France”. The prime minister said France was prepared to host a Middle East peace conference.
As in 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with the invited guests at a cocktail reception preceding the dinner. Also present were senior representatives of the government and opposition parties, as well as several representatives of the Muslim community in France, including Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, who was recently attacked by a mob in his mosque because of his efforts to foster closer relations between Jews and Muslims.
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