Yesterday evening was the annual CRIF dinner, an event for an umbrella French Jewish group that attracts many of France's most prominent politicians. While it was known that UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has a strong relationship with the group, and would attend last night, it was not known that Socialist Segolene Royal would make a surprise visit before dinner. She has had tense relations with the group in the past, and was even accused of ignoring a CRIF invitation to come and speak. Apparently hoping that her stance on the Iranian nuclear issue will be her trump card against Sarkozy in France's Jewish circles, Royal reiterated her opposition to both Iran's military and civilian programs. She and Sarkozy both left before dinner was served. They were joined last night by one other candidate, the UDF's Francois Bayrou.
The main speaker was French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, and the topic of conversation Iran.
(We) hope that Teheran will make the choice of dialogue and will make the decisions allowing a resumption of negotiations. If such were not the case, if Iran does not conform to its obligations, supplementary measures will be examined."
Villepin strongly condemned Mamhoud Ahmadinejad's statement's against the Jewish State, saying that "vis-a-vis with these threats, Israel can count on France." The CRIF leader Roger Cukierman went even further, comparing Ahmadinejad to Hitler.
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