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ISRAEL

France and Israel call for tougher sanctions on Iran

Sanctions on Iran over its contested nuclear programme need to be strengthened further, French President Francois Hollande and his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres said on Friday.

France and Israel call for tougher sanctions on Iran
French President François HOllande embraces his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres in Paris on Friday. Photo Bertrand Guay/AFP

Western powers suspect Iran's nuclear programme to be a cover for building an atomic weapons capability, a charge which Tehran strongly denies.

"I have said how much we want the sanctions to be beefed up, which are already efficient," Hollande said after meeting Peres.

Iran last month held talks with the five UN Security Council permanent members – the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France – plus Germany on its nuclear ambitions in the Kazakh capital Almaty.

The meeting saw the group offer Iran a softening of non-oil or financial sector-related sanctions in exchange for concessions over the country's uranium enrichment operations.

"The sanctions are effective more than we thought but not enough… and I was very glad to hear from the president (Hollande) that he plans to take more measures because if we can end this danger without military use, it will be better," Peres said.

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ISRAEL

French sailor found after weeks adrift: Israeli army

A French sailor lost in the Mediterranean for weeks has been rescued by the Israeli military off the Gaza coast, the army said Friday.

French sailor found after weeks adrift: Israeli army
A file photo taken from the coast of Gaza. Photo: AFP

The man was recovered Thursday night drifting in a boat with a broken radio and no steering system near the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave bordering Israel and Egypt, the army said on Twitter.

“Our soldiers came across his boat near the Gaza Strip, rescued him, and took him for medical treatment,” the tweet said.

An army spokeswoman described the man as a fisherman travelling from Egypt towards Gaza. She said he was injured in the leg.

The tweet included a photo of a smiling man with greying hair wearing a sea jacket and hat and surrounded by soldiers aboard what appears to be an Israeli boat.

There were no further details on the circumstances of the rescue or the man's identity.

The French embassy in Tel Aviv said it had received information about the incident from the Israeli army, but did not have more any more details.

READ ALSO: Israel frees French-Palestinian after 13 months without trial

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