Twenty-second Ambassadors’ Conference - Iran
Opening speech by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (Paris, 28/08/2014)
At the same time, we have to find a solution in our talks with Iran, because there too, everything is connected. Our objective - it is so simple that I can barely state it - is to make Iran renounce access to nuclear weapons.
France demonstrated its firmness, and Laurent Fabius, at a decisive moment, was particularly clear in the negotiations. France also showed that it was willing to talk, and I myself was one of the first Western heads of state to meet President Rouhani. That was last year, during the UN General Assembly. But discussions between Iran and the 5+1 were postponed after being scuttled by who knows what conditions, and did not take place. Likewise, there are still those who think it would be a good idea to link nuclear talks with Iran to the situation in Iraq. I completely reject that; it would make no sense. Iran must simply have the courage to take measures that verifiably and unquestionably demonstrate its renunciation of a military nuclear capability.
It is true that the Iraq crisis shows that our concerns and those of Iran sometimes overlap, and that that country could be an interlocutor, should it decide - and this is key - to abide by principles permitting a sincere and useful conversation. France is ready to consider Iran as such. But on that condition only.
So the Middle East should keep us busy working for peace and security. (…)./.