France and Russia 'closer' on Iran

Sarkozy says "many convergences" in talks with Putin on Tehran's nuclear programme.

    Sarkozy, left, was optimistic about reaching a compromise with Putin on Iran and Kosovo [Reuters]
    France's call for tougher sanctions against Iran had earlier met with some resistance from Russia.

     

    "On Iran, I have the impression that our positions have firmly moved closer together"

    Nicolas Sarkozy, French president

    A Russian newspaper quoted Sarkozy as saying that France would push to tighten sanctions to "bring Iran to its senses".

     

    Putin is scheduled to travel to Iran next week.

     

    The UN Security Council has twice slapped sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, which Western governments believe is a cover for a bomb-making project, a claim Tehran denies.

     

    Russia, which is helping Iran build its first nuclear power plant, has used the threat of its veto in the council to water down sanctions, saying further penalties would be counterproductive.

     

    Kosovo compromise

     

    Putin and Sarkozy also discussed Kosovo, whose push for independence Russia is opposed to.

     

    Moscow blames the European Union and the US for causing strife in the Balkans by backing the ethnic Albanians by carving up Serbia, a Russian ally.

     

    The French president said Putin was not "closed" to a compromise that would allow for the issue to be resolved while addressing Serbian sensitivities.

     

    "I found a desire in Mr Putin to not close the door to a solution that would allow humiliation to be avoided," Sarkozy said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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