France disappointed by Iran's unclear response to incentives

Other News Materials 7 August 2008 01:59 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The French government said Wednesday it was disappointed by Tehran's rejection of a package of incentives proposed by the five UN Security Council members and Germany in return for freezing Iranian uranium enrichment activities.

Tehran's response was handed over Tuesday to European Union chief foreign policy adviser Javier Solana. The United States and Germany also voiced disappointment.

The US, Russia, France, Britain and China are veto-wielding permanent members.

" France expresses its disappointment at the lack of a clear response to the proposals for a double freeze in order to launch negotiations," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement distributed at UN headquarters in New York.

" France will continue to hope that Iranian authorities will soon give an expected answer and will not chose isolation."

The statement said that Paris intends to pursue efforts to restore dialogue between Iran and the six powers.

The six powers on March 3 had given Iran three months to accept the package of incentives. The deadline had expired.

The double-freeze proposal, known also as freeze-for-freeze, calls on the UN Security Council not to declare additional sanctions against Iran and for Iran not to make any more high-technology advances in its nuclear programmes. The double freeze would be followed by resumed negotiations over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The French statement said that Iran may now face sanctions as it missed the deadline and calls for negotiations. Tehran has rejected charges that its uranium enrichment programmes were intended for nuclear weapons and maintained that they were for civilian nuclear- energy uses.

UN diplomats said that preliminary discussion on sanctions against Iran took place this week among political directors at the six countries' foreign ministries.