French intelligence agencies are certain that Iran is hiding a nuclear weapons program, President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday.
"We cannot let Iran acquire nuclear" weapons because it would also be a threat to Israel, Sarkozy said during a meeting at the Elysee presidential palace with lawmakers from his conservative UMP party.
"It is a certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear (weapons) program," he said.
The French leader also said he would not "shake the hand of someone who wants to wipe Israel off the map", referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Also Tuesday, US President Barack Obama discussed with Sarkozy ways to bring Iran "into compliance" with UN resolutions on its nuclear program ahead of diplomatic talks, the White House said.
"The two leaders discussed the status of diplomatic efforts to bring Iran into compliance with its international obligations on its nuclear program," a statement said after Obama spoke by telephone Tuesday with Sarkozy.
France and the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, China, Russia and the United States - as well as Germany will hold talks with Iran on its nuclear program on October 1.
The United States, the European Union and Israel fear that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear power program, but Tehran denies the charges and says the program is peaceful.
The United Nations Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions against Iran over its refusal to freeze its uranium enrichment activities.