They fear a nuclear Iran as well, more so than Obama.
I mentioned yesterday that the reason for French resistance to deal crafted by the US and other permanent member states in the UNSC, in regards to sanctions on Iran for its nuclear weapons program, was do to France’s view of Iran as a serious existential threat. Here’s Benjamin Weinthal along with noted historian, Richard Landes, further elucidating on the same point.
Why did France toss a wrench in the Iran nuclear talks?
France’s resistance to a perceived woefully inadequate deal prompted surprise among Iran observers and pure rage from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
BERLIN – France blocked an agreement on Sunday to curb Iran’s nuclear program because, to cite French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, it did not want to be part of a con game that would allow Tehran to continue with its illicit atomic program.
France’s resistance to a perceived woefully inadequate deal prompted surprise among Iran observers and pure rage from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who described Paris on his Twitter feed as “openly hostile” toward Iran and “inept.” Al Jazeera reported that “diplomats at the talks said the last-minute objections [from France] came as a surprise and complicated the chances of agreement.”
However, did France, in fact, ambush Iran’s clerical regime and veteran Iran watchers? According to Middle East experts in the US and Israel, France’s policy is far from shocking and part and parcel of its security-conscious approach to Iran’s destabilizing foreign policy.
Speaking from Washington to The Jerusalem Post, Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, said that the French “take Iran very seriously” and their “diplomats have a lot of Iranian expertise.” They “love Iranian culture” but realize “they have to take an aggressive position when negotiating with them.”
Doran, who served as US deputy assistant secretary of defense and a senior director at the National Security Council during the George W. Bush presidency, said France demands the elimination of Iranian uranium stockpiles and the closure of its Arak nuclear facility. “Will the French hang tough on this?” asked Doran.
The BBC’s State Department correspondent Kim Ghattas wrote on Sunday, “French diplomats have told me in recent years they believed the Obama administration was willing to concede too much too soon.”
The French-born Israeli political scientist Dr. Emmanuel Navon told the Post that France sees “the Americans and Germans as giving too much to Iran.” He cited French President François Hollande’s interventionist foreign policy. He is “not a pacifist” and showed his willingness to use “military force” in Mali to stop an al-Qaida insurgency earlier this year.