Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged France not to soften its stance towards Iran in the upcoming talks between the Islamic Republic and the six major world powers over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
"We hope that France will not yield," Netanyahu told French-language daily Le Figaro in an interview published on Saturday. “For us, the United States remains an important ally, the most important ally. But our relationship with France is also very special,” he said. Netanyahu went on to say that Tel Aviv and Paris have adopted common stances for years, and the Israeli regime is maintaining this “vital” partnership with French President Francois Hollande. “We welcome his coherent and resolute stance on the Iranian issue,” the Israeli prime minister noted. Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain -- plus Germany did not reach a deal in the Swiss city of Geneva over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, but stressed that significant progress had been made and expressed optimism about the prospect of achieving a deal. The two sides agreed to continue negotiations on November 20 in the same venue. Political observers say France has been the main reason behind the West’s failure to reach an agreement with Tehran over its nuclear energy program. On November 9, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that “Israel’s concerns” must be taken into consideration in the course of the negotiations, adding that there was “no certainty” whether Iran and the six powers would reach an agreement during last week’s talks.