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Russian, French FMs Say No to War Against Iran
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, on Tuesday expressed opposition to military action against Iran.


Their comments appear to be aimed at lowering the tension raised by Kouchner's remarks on Sunday that France had to prepare for the possibility of war against Iran.


There is no problem in the world today, including the Iranian nuclear problem, that has a military solution, Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.


Any military action is out of the question, at least as far as France is concerned, Kouchner said, noting that a war against Iran would be the most horrible development.


The top French diplomat suggested increasing pressure on Iran by imposing serious and very tough sanctions.


Lavrov, however, said the Kremlin believes that Iran is fairly fulfilling the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on its nuclear project.


"According to the IAEA director general, the agreement is being implemented fairly well and we want the process to be completed without any hindrance," he was quoted as saying.


Washington has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. While threatening to keep all options open, including military action, the Bush administration said that it is focusing on diplomatic means to try to resolve the standoff.


Iran, which always denies US charges, insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.


A couple of United Nations Security Council resolutions have been passed to punish Iran for its defiance over the nuclear issue.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy is seen as taking a tougher stance on Iran than his predecessor Jacques Chirac. During his first major foreign policy speech last month, Sarkozy said that a diplomatic push by the international community was the only alternative to "an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran."


(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2007)

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