France threatens 'unprecedented' sanctions against Iran

"If Iran refuses to abide by the demands of the international community and rejects all serious cooperation, we are prepared to adopt, with those countries that follow, unprecedented sanctions," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The unprecedented report that the International Atomic Energy Agency has just published strengthens France's profound concern about Iran's nuclear programme," it said.

The ministry said that activities noted in the IAEA's report "are in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and the IAEA's governing council. They have no credible civil purpose."

The report's elements on "militarisation activities, along with the accumulation of enriched uranium and the intensive pursuit of ballistic tests paint a picture that leaves little doubt about Iran's intentions."

"All of this means that Iran has sought, and apparently continues to seek, the nuclear bomb under the cover of an alleged civilian and peaceful programme."

The IAEA's report yesterday said it had "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme."

"This information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device," it said.

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