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French Envoy Says Guarantees Ensure No Iraqi Atomic Bomb

July 15, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

French Ambassador Marc Bonnefous sought to assure worried Israelis today that the supply of nuclear reactors and enriched uranium by France to Iraq would not lead to the development of an Iraqi atomic bomb. He said in a television interview that Paris had received “adequate bilateral and international guarantees” on this matter.

Bonnefous was interviewed at his Jaffa residence as hundreds of Israeli and diplomatic guests mingled in the garden for the Bastille Day celebration. The “boycott” of the event announced by Transport Minister Haim Landau did not catch on. Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir were there for the government and Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres for the opposition. All of them. said they distinguished between the French people and the principles embodied in Bastille Day on the one hand, and the policy of the present French government on the other.

Premier Menachem Begin, home from the hospital today, termed the uranium supply to Iraq “very serious.” Israel TV said the Premier would convene a top-level consultation at his home during this week to decide what actions Israel could take to counter the supply. Peres asserted that a determined and well organized Israeli political campaign against the supply could yet have fruitful effects.

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