WASHINGTON - "I do not want the world to wake up to a conflict between Israel and Iran, because the international community has been incapable of acting," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in an interview to CBS during his visit to the US to attend the Washington nuclear summit.
Sarkozy explained that the best way to prevent this "disaster" is to "take measures in order to get Israel to understand that we are determined to ensure its security."
The French President added, I consider the fact that Iran should get its hands on a nuclear weapon - a military nuclear weapon, together with the many statements made by Iranian leaders against the democracy that is Israel is dangerous and unacceptable."
He stressed that US President Barack Obama has wanted to stretch out his hand in order to show clearly to the Iranians that it was not they who were the target, but their leadership.
"But patience has its limits," he said, "And we have come to a time now where we need to vote sanctions. Not against the Iranian people, but against the leaders who are leading the country to the wall."
Sarkozy refused to specify what kind of sanctions may be imposed on Iran, but stressed that the US and Europe would not settle for "toothless" sanctions. He said the best solution is the unity of the UN Security Council, "but not at any price. Not at the price of a resolution that is so toothless that it would achieve nothing."
"I would not want the world to wake up to a conflict between Israel and Iran, quite simply because the international community has been incapable of acting," Sarkozy said, calling a possible Israeli strike against Iran "a disaster".
"That would be disastrous. It would be a disaster. I don't even want to think it was possible," he said.
The French president said the "best way to avoid this disaster scenario is to take measures in order to get Israel to understand that we are determined to ensure its security. And Israel, furthermore, must equally make the necessary effort in order to bring about a fair and lasting peace with their Palestinian neighbors."
He said the world powers were trying to bring about "the strongest, firmest possible sanctions" in the Security Council, but added, "If we don't - in other words, if we don't manage to get a majority of the Security Council, then the United States, Europe and others will have to shoulder our responsibilities."
He said that he completely agrees with President Obama on the issue of sanctions, and said it is a question that will arise in "the next fee days or next few weeks."
Sarkozy said the US has done everything possible to stretch out its hand, and that now it is time for sanctions. He said he believes Russia, and China, two permanent Security Council members with a veto right, are "going in the right direction."
In the interview, the French president expressed faith in the efficiency strong sanctions, to be applied against the leadership in Tehran, and not against the Iranian people, could have on a regime change in the Islamic Republic.
"I believe in the effect of sanctions," he said, "because I've been very impressed by the courage of the Iranian people. Those young kids, those women who went down into the streets of Tehran and major Iranian cities. What a fantastic example of courage they gave us. We cannot be - we can't afford to be less courageous than they were."