France Advises Against Force in Iran Nuclear Dispute

France's prime minister said Thursday that military action is not the solution to the international standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said the war in Iraq should serve as a warning against attacking Iran.

"My conviction is that military action is not the solution," Villepin said at a monthly news conference. "We have already lived through this type of scenario and we know that not only does it settle nothing, but it can raise risks. We have seen this in the most clear way with Iraq."

CountryWatch: Iran

President Bush has refused to rule out military action if Iran ignores U.N. demands to halt uranium enrichment, though he has stressed that the United States will continue to focus on diplomacy. When asked last month whether U.S. options regarding Iran "include the possibility of a nuclear strike," Bush replied, "All options are on the table."

France and other Western nations circulated a U.N. Security Council resolution Wednesday that would demand Iran abandon uranium enrichment or face the threat of unspecified further measures — a possible reference to sanctions. China and Russia oppose the measure.

The resolution is the latest effort to pressure Iran to stop what the United States and its allies suspect is a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Iran says it is developing nuclear technology purely for energy.

Villepin urged "unity" and "firmness" within the international community on the standoff, adding that Russian and Chinese support for any resolution was necessary "for the credibility of our action, the pressure on Iran."