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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Sarkozy wants December deadline for Iran over nuclear program

RIA Novosti

23:34 23/09/2009 UN/PARIS, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday that Iran should be given until December to meet international demands over its nuclear program.

The UN Security Council has told Iran to freeze its nuclear program, which many Western countries believe is aimed at building an atomic weapon. The Islamic Republic says the program is for civilian energy generation.

"There will be a deadline, which in my mind is the month of December," Sarkozy said in an interview with the TF1 and France 2 television channels.

Speaking later at the 64th session of the UN General Assembly, Sarkozy said Iran would be making a "tragic mistake" if it thought the world would do nothing to prevent it developing a nuclear weapon.

"I would like to say to the Iranian leaders that if they are relying on the passive response of the international community to continue pursuing their military nuclear program, they are making a tragic mistake," he said.

Iran has agreed to meet with the Iran Six of Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany on October 1 to discuss its nuclear program.

Sarkozy's comments came shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama warned the leaders of North Korea and Iran that they would be "held accountable" if they continued to disregard international law.

"If the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they...are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East, then they must be held accountable," he said in his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly.

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