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France has denied reports claiming that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama's positions on Iran.

According to reports that reached Israel's government earlier this week, Sarkozy made his criticisms only in closed forums in France.

But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate's stance on Iran as "utterly immature" and comprised of "formulations empty of all content."

The Obama campaign responded furiouly to the reports and the French embassy in Washington issued a statement saying:

"The remarks attributed by the newspaper Haaretz to the president of the French Republic concerning Senator Obama's positions on Iran are groundless," said the statement.

"To the contrary, the in-depth discussions between the president of the Republic and Senator Obama on Iran during their meeting in Paris in July demonstrated a broad convergence of views on this issue. President Sarkozy and Sen. Obama agree to oppose Iran's development of a military nuclear capability."

Meanwhile, Republican candidate John McCain's campaign staff two days ago began to broadcast a video clip attacking Obama's stance on Iran. All major American communications networks reported the clip as being broadcast in response to the Haaretz article.

"Obama says Iran is a 'tiny' country, 'doesn't pose a serious threat,'" the announcer in the video says. "Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't "serious threats? Obama - dangerously unprepared to be president."

Related links:

  • U.S. elections on Haaretz.com
  • Sources: Sarkozy views Obama stance on Iran as 'utterly immature'
  • L.A. Times defends decision not to release clip of Obama with Palestinian critic of Israel
  • U.S. rabbis: McCain attacks on Obama creeping toward 'hate speech'

  • U.S. elections on Haaretz.com