French Official Talks Tough About Iran

France's new foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, is a somewhat unlikely diplomat. He began his career as a physician and activist. He's a co-founder of the group Doctors Without Borders and was fond of dramatic actions — like chartering a cargo ship to rescue Vietnamese boat people. It didn't hurt his reputation as a maverick four years ago when he championed intervention in Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein.

This week, the foreign minister has gotten in trouble for some undiplomatic language — saying the world must prepare for possible war when it comes to Iran because of its refusal to suspend nuclear activities.

But Kouchner says he was misunderstood. In advance of a meeting in Washington with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he placed France firmly on the side of the U.S. in calling for even tougher sanctions against Iran. Kouchner speaks with Renee Montagne.



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