France? Is That You?

kouchner.jpg “France will press for “precise sanctions” against Iran in an effort to avoid “the worst” which would be “war,’ Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said, speaking in Moscow today. France wants the European Union to pressure Iran by adopting its own economic sanctions, in addition to measures voted by the United Nations Security Council, Kouchner said… Several large French companies have projects in Iran, including Renault SA, which this year started production of its Logan model there, at an expected rate of 300,000 cars a year. Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil producer, owns a 30 percent stake in a liquefied natural gas venture in Iran called Pars LNG. The project is under review, Total said last month. French banks in 2005 accounted for $5.9 billion of the $25.4 billion loans made to Iran by lenders reporting to the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland. The French government has not sought to interfere with existing business projects in Iran, although it has asked the nation’s companies to refrain from bidding on future projects, two French diplomats said today, asking not to be identified.” (Bloomberg)

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