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WAR

France concerned over Iran nuclear deadlock

France said Thursday it was very concerned about Iran's "persistent refusal" to come clean about its nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at producing an atomic bomb.

France concerned over Iran nuclear deadlock
The West is concerned Iran has the capability to build an atomic bomb. Photo: Steve Velo

The comment came after talks with Iran failed yet again to reach a deal on enhanced inspections of Tehran's nuclear programme, two weeks before a major meeting with world powers.

"Iran's persistent refusal to finalise its discussions with the IAEA to be fully transparent about what its nuclear programme is aimed at is very worrying," said French foreign ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief inspector said Thursday after returning from Tehran that he had not succeeded in getting Iran to grant access to sites, scientists and documents the agency believes may have been part of a covert nuclear weapons drive.

Iran says the IAEA's allegations are based on flawed Western and Israeli intelligence — which it has not been allowed to see — and says it has never sought to develop the bomb.

This latest failure comes less than two weeks before talks between Iran and six world powers — the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany — in Almaty, Kazakhstan on February 26.

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ENERGY

France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

A French scheme to provide financial aid to property owners seeking to replace oil and gas boilers with eco-friendly alternatives has been extended, with grants of up to €9,000 now available.

France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

The French government will increase the amount of money available to replace gas and oil-powered boilers through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme, part of a package of measures announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Wednesday

Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said that from April 15th, some households would be able to benefit from an extra €1,000 to “accelerate the replacement of fossil fuel-powered boilers with renewable heating solutions”, such as heat pumps and biomass heaters. 

It will no longer be possible to use state funding to replace a gas boiler with another, more efficient gas boiler. 

This brings the total state aid available for replacing boilers up to €9,000. 

Who can benefit? 

The funding for boiler replacement is available through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme – which is available to anyone who owns property in France. 

Applicants for funding do however need a French numéro fiscal (tax number) and a copy of their latest tax declaration, which means those who do not file the annual tax declaration in France are effectively excluded. 

You can only apply for funding if your property is more than two years old. 

The amount of money you could receive depends on a range of criteria including: household income; the number of people living in the household; and the location of the property. 

You can read more about the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme HERE

Why is the government doing this? 

The move essentially allows France to faire d’une pierre deux coups – hit two birds with one stone.

One one hand, it will allow the country to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions in the face of the global climate crisis. 

On the other, it allows France to reduce its dependency on Russian gas – which has become a government priority ever since the invasion of Ukraine.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government would target and end to dependency on Russian energy by 2027. The construction of new nuclear plants announced in February will also assist in reaching this objective.

You can read more about the government’s measures to insulate the French economy from the war in Ukraine HERE

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