FRANCE WILL NOT ALLOW IRAN TO OBTAIN NUCLEAR WEAPONS, PLEDGES FRENCH PRESIDENT SARKOZY

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni Sarkozy stand in the Hall of Names during a visit in the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum Memorial in Jerusalem

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, were greeted Monday at the Knesset. The French leader addressed the plenum and stressed that his country would not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. He also spoke of the importance of the Jewish homeland to the Jewish people.

“I reiterate here in the clearest manner: As far as France is concerned, a nuclear Iran is totally unacceptable,” Sarkozy declared. “France is determined to continue to lead, along with its partners, a policy that integrates gradually intensifying sanctions with openness, in case Iran chooses to honor its international obligatons.”

France, he said, “is Israel’s friend, and will always stand by her side when her security or existence are threatened. Those who scandalously call for the destruction of Israel will always, always, find France blocking their path.”

Sarkozy quoted a verse from Numbers and continued: “Jews the world over feel a powerful bond to their homeland. The fate of every Jew is tied up to the fate of all other Jews. The fact that the world has such a prospering Jewish state is a source of pride and honor to every one of them.”

He explained that this was so “because in Israel, Judaism is not defined through its relation to anti-Semitism; because this is the place where every Jew can find refuge if one day, God forbid, he does not have another place to run to; because this is the only place in the world where all know that Jews will never be made to wear a yellow star, where Jews will be forbidden from riding the bus, visiting the cinema and the theater and working in various professions.”

Before Sarkozy addressed the plenum, Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu spoke, at one point making the comparison between radical Islamism and Nazism, which elicited angry heckles from Arab MKs who yelled at him: “Shame on you! Nazism and radical Islamism? Shame on you, what is this comparison?”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert entreated the French leader to use his country’s clout in the European Union in order to further additional sanctions against Iran. “Next month France is starting its term at the presidency of the EU,” he said. “I am positive that this is a wonderful opportunity to lead the Union, under your leadership, to a unified and unwavering position against the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Olmert continued: “We thank you for your declaration that Israel security is nonnegotiable and for your steadfast and decisive stance vis-à-vis the danger of nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran, whose president has publicly called to strike Israel off the map.”

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