France to maintain nuclear arsenal
The remarks come after United States President Barack Obama gave a speech in which he offered to cut deployed weapons. The proposal would come as part of a global push to lower the global nuclear weapons stockpile, according to Reuters.
President Obama targeted his speech at Russia. There is a current agreement between Russia and the United States as part of the 2010 New START treaty, which requires both parties to cut stockpiles of deployed nuclear weapons to 1,550 each by 2018. He urged Russia to build on the New START treaty as part of the global push to lower nuclear stockpiles, Reuters reports.
"Barack Obama is proposing to Russia that together they reduce. That's fine but that is not how we see things," Le Drian said while giving a talk on France Info radio, according to Reuters. "The real issue is nuclear proliferation ... it's the future risk of Iran getting a nuclear weapon."
Obama has attempted to lower the world's supplies of nuclear weapons since he first entered office. One of his speeches in Prague in 2009 gave his vision of a "world without nuclear weapons" and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.
Le Drian said France is not ready, even with Obama's urgings, to lower their already low arsenal of under 300 warheads anymore.