Chirac: Tehran to be ”razed” if Iran attacks Israel
French President Jacques Chirac said in an interview with three newspapers that Iran's possession of a nuclear bomb wouldn't be "very dangerous" and that if it used the weapon against Israel, Tehran would be immediately "razed."
Chirac - who made the comments during a Monday interview with The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and Le Nouvel Observateur, a weekly magazine - called reporters back the next day to try to have his quotes retracted.
"I should rather have paid attention to what I was saying and understood that perhaps I was on the record," Chirac said in the second interview on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
On Monday, Chirac said of Iran and its nuclear program: "I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb. Having one or perhaps a second bomb a little later, well, that's not very dangerous." Instead, the French leader said, the danger lies in the chances of proliferation or an arms race in the Middle East should Iran build a nuclear bomb.
"Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel?" Chirac asked. "It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed."
In the second interview with the same newspapers, Chirac retracted his comment about Tehran being razed. "I retract it, of course, when I said, 'One is going to raze Tehran,"' he said. Regarding his comments that Israel could be a target of an Iranian weapon and that Israel would retaliate, Chirac said: "I don't think I spoke about Israel yesterday. Maybe I did so but I don't think so. I have no recollection of that."