French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday urged the international community to approve strong sanctions against Iran over its defiant nuclear program in order to avoid an Israeli strike against the Islamic Republic.
Sarkozy and other Western leaders have increasingly used Israel as a scapegoat to justify their own hardening positions toward Iran, a fact that Israeli leaders have little problem with.
In that vein, Sarkozy, who is attending a US-hosted nuclear summit in Washington, told CBS News that he "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."
"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," Sarkozy continued.
The French leader said that while he would love to have a unanimously approved package of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, the sanctions must have some serious bite to them. He was referring to US President Barack Obama's efforts to get China on board with new sanctions amid fears that Beijing will insist on watering down any punitive measures against its Iranian allies.
Sarkozy also took the opportunity to leverage the Iran nuclear issue to press Israel to make more concessions to the Palestinians. He suggested that the lack of a final status peace deal leading to the creation of a Palestinian state only increased Iran's belligerence and made international efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions more difficult.