Sept. 4 - French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says a lack of action in Syria would send the wrong message to Iran over its nuclear program. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Defending France's call for military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told the French parliament failure to act would send the wrong message to Iran over its nuclear ambitions. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRIME MINISTER JEAN-MARC AYRAULT SAYING: "To not act would be to put in danger peace and security in the entire region but also beyond that, our own security. I ask the question, what credibility would our international commitments against non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons stand for. What message would this send to other regimes, and I am thinking like you of Iran," After British Prime Minister David Cameron failed last week to win parliamentary backing for military strikes, France is the only major military power lining up behind U.S. President Barack Obama, who is seeking Congress backing for acting. Under the French constitution, President Francois Hollande does not need approval for action, although he is increasingly coming under pressure from opposition lawmakers to hold one. (SOUNDBITE) (French) HEAD OF THE UNION OF INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATS PARTY JEAN-LOUIS BORLOO SAYING: "Mr Prime Minister, The United Nations is progress, but the time of punitive expeditions by a few powers belongs to the past." France also signaled that a military strike would not preclude a political solution.