The French foreign minister denounced Iran's announcement of a dramatic expansion in uranium enrichment and urged Tehran to comply with U.N. demands to halt such activity.
"I deplore the announcements made yesterday, which are a bad sign," Philippe Douste-Blazy said in a statement Tuesday. "Once again I urge Iran to respect the Security Council resolutions that require the suspension of all sensitive nuclear activities."
On Monday, Iran said it has begun operating 3,000 centrifuges - nearly 10 times the previously known number - in defiance of U.N. demands.
But while expressing concern about the announcement, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei was cautious about whether Iran had the means to follow through.
"There are announcements, and then there is technological reality," he said.
Russia has left the list of 33 largest holders of US government bonds, after the country disposed of at least a third of remaining bonds