Saturday, July 12, 2008

Syria President Assad: Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons


Iran isn't seeking to obtain nuclear weapons, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Saturday following talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Speaking at a press conference, Assad said Tehran had "no intention to possess nuclear weapons."

The French president called on Syria to use its relations with Iran to help end the standoff over Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons drive.

"For France, the detention of nuclear weapons by Iran is not envisageable... President Bashar al-Assad bases himself on the declaration by the Iranian authorities that they are not seeking access to such weapons.

"So we ask Syria to convince Iran to provide proof, not just intentions, but proof", Sarkozy said.

The French and Syrian leaders were addressing a joint press conference at the Elysee palace, alongside Lebeanse President Michel Sleiman and Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Assad, who is among 43 leaders who will launch a new Union for the Mediterranean at a summit in Paris on Sunday, is marking the end of years of isolation in the landmark visit to France.
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