A French Rafale jet flanked by three Mirage 2000-N
© AFP / Anne-Christine PoujoulatA French Rafale jet flanked by three Mirage 2000-N
The French envoy to the UN has warned Iran that it risks a military strike if it continues pursuing its nuclear program.

"If we don't succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action," Ambassador Gerard Araud said on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the UN's New York headquarters, AFP reported.

The strike, he said, "would be a very complicated operation. It would have disastrous consequences in the region... all the Arab countries are extremely worried about what is happening."

Last Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Iran to "freeze the production of centrifuges," saying that such a step would prevent fresh sanctions against it.

"In response we will abstain from imposing more sanctions, both at the UN Security Council and unilaterally," the diplomat said in a CNN interview.

On Tuesday, Mr. Lavrov stressed the need to find a diplomatic solution to the issue.

"We don't see any alternative to a political and diplomatic solution and taking concrete steps towards renewing of talks," he said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Earlier this month, the UN nuclear watchdog published a report on developments after Teheran allowed an inspector to enter some of its nuclear facilities which had previously been closed. Moscow believes that Iran's latest moves show positive changes in its attitude to the UN's control of its nuclear program, which the international community should encourage.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi called on the European Union to resume nuclear talks with Tehran.

"There have been new developments with regard to Iran's nuclear issue and also other issues," Salehi said in a meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Earlier this month, former US Vice President Dick Cheney said he believed Israel would attack Iran to prevent it from achieving nuclear weapons capacity.

Cheney told Newsmax TV that "Iran represents an existential threat and [the Israelis] will do whatever they have to do to guarantee their survival and their security."