French President Jacques Chirac has raised the threat of a nuclear response to state-sponsored terrorist attacks on French soil.
Mr. Chirac said Thursday state leaders who use terrorist means against France, and those considering use of weapons of mass destruction, must understand they will be exposing themselves to a firm response from his country.
He said France has configured its nuclear arsenal to respond to threats and noted that the number of nuclear warheads on French submarines has been reduced to allow for targeted strikes. He also said the response could be conventional.
Mr. Chirac made the remarks at a French nuclear base in the northwestern region of Brittany. The comments came in a speech outlining the basis on which France is maintaining its nuclear deterrent.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.