KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy warned Saturday that

Iran risks being isolated under new proposed UN sanctions if it does not halt sensitive nuclear activities.


The French minister said after talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah that Tehran "must choose between isolation and the suspension of its sensitive nuclear activities."

He said the resolution being studied by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany would be effective if it included "economic sanctions," as it would keep investors away.

France believes that "consensus" is crucial in making the proposed resolution more effective and firm in deterring Iran, the minister said.

Paris is playing the role of mediator between the United States on one hand and Russia and China on the other, in trying to achieve the required consensus, Douste-Blazy said.

Russia and China expressed fresh reservations on Friday, with their ambassadors objecting to the proposed financial and trade sanctions, saying they would punish the Iranian people.

Iran denies it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability and insists it has a right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to conduct uranium enrichment for power generation.

The Kuwaiti minister said his country was "concerned" about the possibility that Iran may be subjected to tougher UN sanctions and called on Tehran to cooperate with the international community.

Douste-Blazy welcomed the meeting in Baghdad of

Iraq's neighbours and world powers held on Saturday, and hoped it will help build trust between Iraq and its neighbours.

Iraq should not become a field for regional conflicts, the minister said, adding that the solution was "primarily political and should begin with Iraqis themselves," with the participation of all sides in Iraq.


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