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World Politics Review, October 11, 2007

Berlin and Vienna Stand Against the West

European Divisions on the Iranian Bomb · By Matthias Küntzel

Toward the end of August, French President Nicolas Sarkozy ushered in a new phase in the diplomatic negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program by calling for tougher sanctions against Iran. In the event that the U.N. Security Council should prove incapable of taking action, Sarkozy demanded that the Europeans take action themselves: unilaterally. It is only by applying massive economic pressure, Sarkozy argued, that “a catastrophic alternative” could still be avoided: “either the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran.” At the same time, Sarkozy pressured the French energy companies Total and Gaz de France to forego any further investments in Iran and he called upon French banks to freeze their business with Iran.

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