French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Saturday that he is "convinced that Iran is pursuing a nuclear program and the Israel will not abide that," the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported.
According to the report, Sarkozy, who met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Paris, said France has proof that Tehran is developing a nuclear bomb and that Israel may choose to take action to neutralize the threat.
The paper also quoted Sarkozy as saying that if given a choice between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he would choose the latter.
The French president also spoke of the recent international sanctioned proposed against the Islamic Republic by the UN Security Council, saying such sanctions may soon become a reality.
Meanwhile, Sarkozy also announced that Paris was willing to supply Beirut with whatever military equipment it needed.
Sources close to the French president told al-Hayat that Sarkozy said his country "cannot support and protect Lebanon's independence without giving its military the necessary means of defense."
France, he reportedly added, needs neither the US nor Israel's permission to support Lebanon's independence. Should Israel views the issue as problematic, he added, "We will reach an understanding with it on the matter."