Continued from page 1

The U.N. Security Council has passed four sets of damaging sanctions on Iran, but veto-wielding members China and Russia oppose further measures and are unlikely to change their minds despite the report’s findings.

China has not publicly commented yet on a U.N. assessment of Iran’s nuclear programs in a likely sign that it will wait for Washington and Moscow to signal their intentions. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday that Beijing was studying the report and repeated calls for dialogue and cooperation.

In Paris, Mr. Juppe said France would support tougher sanctions if Iran refuses to answer new questions about its nuclear program.

“We cannot accept this situation (of a nuclear-armed Iran), which would be a threat to stability and peace of the region and beyond,” he said on France’s RFI radio.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said late Tuesday it would not comment on the report until it had time to study it.

“It is important to figure out whether there really are new, and indeed trustworthy, facts that confirm the suspicions that there are military components in the Iranian nuclear program, or whether we’re talking about the intentional and counterproductive exacerbation of emotions,” the Russian statement said.

In Israel, a leading columnist at the Yediot Ahronot daily, Nahum Barnea, said there is a desire by officials to rally world opinion to pressure Iran.

“The publication of the report returns the ball to the international court,” Mr. Barnea wrote. “Israel is not alone.”

Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris, Lynn Berry in Moscow and Amy Teibel in Jerusalem contributed to this report.