Chirac Downplays Iranian Nuclear Threat

In remarks he said he thought were off the record, French President Jacques Chirac tells three papers that if Iran had a nuclear bomb it wouldn't be "very dangerous," adding that if Iran used such a weapon on Israel, Tehran would be "razed."

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now the president of France, or France if you prefer, may also wish he had never spoken to the press. Jacques Chirac spoke with three newspapers about Iran. He said Iran's possession of a nuclear bomb would not be very dangerous. President Chirac went on to say that if Iran ever used a nuclear weapon on Israel, Tehran would be immediately razed.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Chirac later tried to retract his statement. He suggested he didn't understand that, quote, "perhaps I was on the record." One of the papers involved, The New York Times, says he was on the record and the interview was being taped.

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