French source to al-Hayat: Israeli military option against Iran alive
London-based Arabic newspaper cites 'knowledgeable' French sources as saying Israeli PM gave French President Sarkozy impression that Israel not ruling out military activity against Iranian nuclear program. Meanwhile, Kommersant report says Russia willing to back sanctions on Islamic Republic
In a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy got the impression that as far as Israel is concerned, the military option against Iran's nuclear plans is very much alive, and he was sure to pass this message on to Syrian President Bashar Assad, "knowledgeable" French sources told al-Hayat newspaper.
According to the report published in the Arabic-language, London-based newspaper on Saturday, during the meeting that took place between Assad and Sarkozy on Friday, the Syrian president said Tehran's steps should be closely watched and not rejected automatically.
Sarkozy said in response that he believes no false expectations should be developed in the matter of Iran's position.
According to the French sources, Sarkozy warned in the meeting that if talks do not yield results, this could lead to a sensitive situation, especially in light of the fact that military opposition from Israel is a real possibility.
The sources said that Sarkozy got this impression from Netanyahu during their meeting last week.
'Russia to back Iran sanctions'
Meanwhile, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that Russia is willing to support international sanctions against Iran. Kremlin officials told the paper that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is "100% willing to support sanctions" but stressed that Russia would still rather "cooperate with Tehran than impose sanctions on it, since this could alienate Iran."
Russian support of sanctions against the Ayatollah regime is important since Moscow holds veto power in the United Nations Security Council.
Kommersant further reported that a final decision on sanctions is in the hands of Medvedev and US President Barack Obama, who will meet in Singapore on Sunday during an Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference.
"They will not only discuss the situation around the Iranian nuclear plan, but may even decide on when to impose the sanctions," the report said.
In an interview Medvedev recently gave to German newspaper Der Spiegel, the Russian president said imposing sanctions on Iran is an option if progress in the Iranian matter is not made.