Sarkozy out of step, Iran says

April 25, 2012 at 9:46 AM
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TEHRAN, April 25 (UPI) -- The French move against incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy suggests he's out of step on policies regarding Iran, an Iranian official said.

French Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande secured 28.6 percent of the vote against 27.1 percent for French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a weekend contest, sending the race to a second round of voting May 6.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the results of the election suggest the French people are frustrated with current officials.

"And it seems that Sarkozy's wrong decisions in regard to the Middle East and Iran have harmed the French people and the country's national interests," he was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency as saying.

His comments come as Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- along with Germany are to meet for another round of nuclear negotiations May 23 in Baghdad.

Mehmanparast warned that sanctions against Iran "will not be effective and will strengthen our determination to accelerate the country's progress."

Iran is accused of pursuing technology needed to develop a nuclear weapon, an allegation Tehran denies.

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