Nicolas Sarkozy

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has responded to comments by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, saying unfounded remarks about Iran’s nuclear program only serve to feed instability in the region.

Sarkozy told an annual meeting of French diplomats this week that France would work with its allies to force Iran to back down from its uranium-enrichment activities.

Sarkozy added: “Its [Iran’s] military, nuclear and ballistic ambitions constitute a growing threat that may lead to a preventive attack against Iranian sites that would provoke a major crisis that France wants to avoid at all costs.”

Hassan Tajik, the foreign ministry’s director general for Western European affairs, said: “Iran’s defence activities are all deterrent. Remarks based on unfounded information could result in regional instability, and it is advisable to heed reality and refrain from making such remarks.

Sarkozy’s remarks also drew a harsh response from the Iranian military during Tehran’s Friday Mass prayers.

ISNA reports that Amirfarzad Esmaili, the head of the Khatami-ol-Nabia Air Base, said at the Friday Mass prayers in Tehran: “If our enemy is foolish enough to decide to invade the holy borders of the Islamic Republic, Islamic Iran will create hell for them in the ground, air and sea until they burn in the fires of their dictatorship.”

While the West claims to be concerned about Iran’s nuclear activities, Iran says its nuclear program is completely peaceful and aimed at energy production.

Yesterday, however, the International Atomic Energy Agency once again issued a statement saying it cannot ascertain that Iran’s nuclear activities do not have a military component.

Iran insists that the IAEA’s numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities indicate that there is no evidence of nuclear weapon production.