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Chirac threatens nuclear weapons against 'terrorist' states

 
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cyrus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Chirac threatens nuclear weapons against 'terrorist' states Reply with quote

Chirac threatens nuclear weapons against 'terrorist' states
1 hour, 2 minutes ago



Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060119/ts_afp/francepoliticsmilitary_060119184418

ILE LONGUE MILITARY BASE, France (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac for the first time raised the threat of a nuclear strike on any state that launches "terrorist" attacks against France.

He also said France's doctrine of nuclear deterrence has been extended to protect the country's "strategic supplies", taken to mean oil.

"Leaders of any state that uses terrorist means against us, as well as any that may be envisaging -- in one way or another -- using weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would be exposing themselves to a firm and appropriate response on our behalf," he said.

"That response could be conventional, it could also be of another nature," Chirac said in a clear reference to nuclear weapons during a visit to a French nuclear base in the northwestern region of Brittany.

The president said he was extending the definition of "vital interests" protected by France's nuclear umbrella to include allies and "strategic supplies".

The French press understood "strategic supplies" to include oil. Le Monde newspaper said that was aimed "probably also at those countries from which France imports part of its energy needs".

"If, theoretically, such interests were threatened by regional powers -- Iran, North Korea? -- France would react," the daily said.

The French president, however, did not single out any country in his speech.

He did indicate, though, that the previous Cold War stance of threatening massive and widespread destruction against enemies had been changed to a doctrine permitting a graduated and limited nuclear response.

"Faced with a regional power, our choice is not between doing nothing and annihilating it," he said.

France has configured its nuclear arsenal to be able to respond "flexibly and reactively" to any threat, by reducing the number of nuclear heads on certain missiles on board its submarines, he said.

Such a move would enable it to conduct strikes on specific targets and limit the zone of destruction.

"It would be up to the president of the republic to evaluate the potential magnitude and consequences of unacceptable threats or blackmail against our interests," he said.

Such a situation could lead a French head of state to declare those "vital interests," Chirac said.

He said "the fight against terrorism is obviously one of our priorities," but he added that "it is not because a new threat appears that it causes all the others to disappear.

"Our world is marked by the emergence of affirmations of power that rely on the possession of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons."

In an apparent reference to Iran, Chirac condemned "the temptation by certain countries to obtain nuclear capabilities in contravention of treaties."
Iran's government is pursuing a nuclear development programme, stoking fears among major powers that it will be used to make nuclear weapons.

France's opposition parties were split in their reaction to Chirac's statements.

The Socialist Party, through one-time prime minister Laurent Fabius, said there was nothing shocking about the position put forward.

But Helene Luc, a senator with the smaller Communist Party and member of a defence committee, said: "This extension of the concept of nuclear dissuasion takes us back years to the Cold War and can only deepen tensions with countries that aspire to have such weapons."


Last edited by cyrus on Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: France's Chirac Issues Nuclear Warning Reply with quote

France's Chirac Issues Nuclear Warning

By CHRISTINE OLLIVIER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jan 19, 2:46 PM ET
Source:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060119/ap_on_re_eu/france_nuclear_2

L'ILE-LONGUE, France - President Jacques Chirac warned Thursday that France could respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorist attack, broadening the terms of French deterrence to adapt to new threats.

The warning came as France works with other Western nations to ensure that Iran does not become a nuclear power, but officials and experts said Chirac's comments were not aimed specifically at Iran.

"Nuclear deterrence ... is not aimed at dissuading fanatic terrorists," Chirac said in a speech delivered at a nuclear submarine base in western France.

"Leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, just like anyone who would envisage using, in one way or another, arms of mass destruction, must understand that they would expose themselves to a firm and fitting response from us," he said. "This response could be conventional. It could also be of another nature."

France's nuclear arsenal is considered a purely dissuasive means to protect the nation's vital interests and is not intended for regular combat.

However, in his speech, Chirac addressed new threats in the post-Cold War world, namely from regional powers. He did not explain what he meant by regional powers. But officials close to the president and experts said he was not singling out Iran, which alarmed Western nations last week by restarting nuclear activity after a 2 1/2-year freeze.

"In numerous countries, radical ideas are spreading, advocating a confrontation of civilizations," he said, adding "odious attacks" could escalate to "other yet more serious forms involving states."

He said nuclear warheads have been reduced on some missiles on France's four nuclear-armed submarines with the aim of targeting specific power centers rather than risk wholesale destruction in an enemy country.

"Against a regional power, our choice is not between inaction and destruction," Chirac said. "The flexibility and reactiveness of our strategic forces allow us to respond directly on the centers of power."

Chirac was speaking at a western base with the 110-strong crew manning The Vigilant one of the four nuclear-armed vessels. Submarines carry 85 percent of French nuclear warheads.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran denounces French president's warning of nuclear response to state-sponsored terror attack
The Associated Press, Jan. 21, 2006

TEHRAN, Iran


Iran on Saturday denounced as "unacceptable" recent comments by French President Jacques Chirac that France could respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorist attack.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Chirac's threats last Thursday reflect the true intentions of nuclear powers, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

"The French president uncovered the covert intentions of nuclear powers in using this lever (nuclear weapons) to determine political games," IRNA quoted Asefi as saying.

"The bitter experience in using nuclear weapons during World War II was so horrible as to make use of them again unacceptable and unjustifiable," he said.

Chirac drew scorching criticism in some European newspapers for saying that France, thought to have around 300 nuclear warheads mostly deployed on submarines, would weigh a non-conventional response to state-sponsored terrorism or attacks using weapons of mass destruction.

The French leader's firm posture was seen by many as targeting Iran, which is locked in an escalating standoff with Europe and the United States over its nuclear ambitions, and North Korea, which claims to have nuclear weapons.

However, French officials have said the comments by Chirac, whose country works with other Western nations to ensure that Iran does not become a nuclear power, were not aimed specifically at Tehran.

Iran's state-run television said Saturday that Chirac "has neglected international regulations" concerning nuclear disarmament.

"(Chirac's threats) show that calls by nuclear powers for disarmament is nothing beyond a claim and that international treaties are used as an instrument to put pressures on other countries," the television said in a commentary.

France, Germany and Britain, backed by the U.S., have drafted a resolution that calls for referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council but stops short of asking for imposition of punitive measures against Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will meet Feb. 2 to discuss the draft.

Iran removed some U.N. seals from its main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, central Iran, on Jan. 10 and resumed research on nuclear fuel _ including small-scale enrichment _ after a 2 1/2-year freeze.

That has caused alarm in Western capitals that suspect Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop atomic bomb.

Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is geared merely toward generating electricity, not bomb.

Iran says it is ready to offer guarantees that its nuclear program won't be diverted toward weapons but won't give up its right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel.

Uranium enriched to low level is used to produce nuclear fuel in reactors generating electricity; further enrichment makes it suitable for use in nuclear bomb.

Asefi said a better way to wipe out terrorism would be to end world poverty and discrimination in international relations.

"Chirac is better to pressure Western leaders to move toward removing the roots of discrimination, poverty and injustice in various parts of the world so that by wiping out this ugly phenomenon, there will be no need for pre-emption," Asefi said of the nuclear threat.
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