Source AP ©

France to continue dialogue with Iran

France respects Iran and will continue dialogue with the Islamic country over its nuclear program, the European country’s Foreign minister said.

"Iran is a country which we respect and it has to abide by international agreements. Our negotiations will continue," Bernard Kouchner told a news conference during a visit to Turkey.

On Wednesday, French diplomatic officials said Iran is set to run almost 3,000 centrifuges by the end of the month, nearing the threshold for industrial-scale uranium enrichment.

The revelation, based on a memo from the International Atomic Energy Agency received in Paris on Wednesday, comes as France steps up its campaign for new European Union sanctions against Tehran.

Two rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions have failed to persuade Iran to halt enrichment, a process that the United States and its European allies fear Tehran could use to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says its enrichment work is aimed only at producing fuel for nuclear power stations.