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Sarkozy Calls for Freeze of Iran’s Central Assets, New Sanctions

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for new sanctions against Iran, including the freeze of its central bank’s assets, to force it to negotiate and stop developing nuclear weapons, according to an e-mailed statement from the president’s office.

In a letter sent today to leaders of the U.S., Germany, Japan, the U.K., Canada and the European Union, the French president said nations should stop purchasing Iranian oil. Iran’s nuclear program represents a ’’serious and urgent threat to peace,’’ Sarkozy said, according to the statement.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board last week delivered its first rebuke of Iran in two years, expressing “deep and increasing concern” about atomic-bomb work alleged to have taken place. Iran has dismissed the charges, called the evidence fake and said it only wants to develop atomic power.

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