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Iran nuclear offer response unsatisfactory: France

Written by: Staff

PARIS, Aug 25: France said today Iran's response to an offer of incentives to persuade it to halt its nuclear program fell short but said it was important to avoid escalating a conflict with Iran and the Muslim world.

Iran offered on Tuesday to start serious talks over its nuclear programme but there was no sign it had agreed to a UN Security Council demand that it freeze uranium enrichment by Aug 31 or face the prospect of sanctions.

''For the moment it is not satisfactory,'' French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on RTL radio.

''But the worst thing would be to escalate into a confrontation with Iran on the one hand, and the Muslim world with Iran, and the West. That would be the clash of the civilisations that France today is practically alone in trying to avoid.'' The five permanent United Nations Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany, offered Iran incentives to stop nuclear enrichment.

Iran says its nuclear programme is purely meant for producing electricity and denies seeking a nuclear bomb.


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