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“For France to have the contrary view now, it shows just how far Iran’s nuclear program has advanced,” he said.

U.S. Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, who has taken a tough stand against Iran’s nuclear program, applauded France’s position, telling CNN: “Thank God for France and thank God for pushback. … The French are becoming very good leaders in the Mideast.”

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Brian Murphy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report.