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The Latest on the Talks Over Iran's Nuclear Program
Talks broke down over the weekend concerning Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, though they are to resume on Nov. 20 in Geneva.
From an editorial, Sunday (11/10), in the Tehran Times:
“There were high hopes that the chief diplomats of Iran and the 5+1 group – the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, and Germany – would strike a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program in Geneva on Saturday. However, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius prevented the talks from yielding the desired result.
“Fabius claimed that the concerns of regional countries should be taken into consideration in a nuclear deal with Iran.
“However, Iran had adopted a new approach in order to allay concerns about its nuclear program in the region and the rest of the world, which gives the lie to the French Foreign Minister’s claim.
“If Fabius meant the ‘concerns’ of Israel, it is common knowledge that Israel is making every effort to prevent a resolution of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. If this is the case, Fabius was dancing to the tune of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“”However, if Fabius was using France’s position as a member of the 5+1 group to pressure Iran over its policy toward the Syria conflict, his approach was irresponsible.
“Mr. Fabius may be opposed to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but he knows that Syria has been turned into a battleground for extremists affiliated with al-Qaeda and if the situation gets out of control, it will adversely affect France.
“When Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Paris before heading to Geneva for the nuclear talks, he said Tehran is ready to use its influence to help get the foreign forces to leave Syria in order to resolve the crisis, which is in line with the interests of France.
“Meanwhile, the international community has been concerned about the possibility of a new conflict in the Middle East and thus has been waiting for an opportunity to end the decade-long nuclear dispute between Iran and the West, so Paris should not oppose the will of the rest of the world.
“The Iranian people did not expect such a move from France. They expected Fabius, who is a member of a socialist government, to make efforts for the negotiations to be successful and not to cause another impasse. Now Iranians have a bad image of France. But Paris can still make amends for its actions at the next round of the nuclear talks, which begin on November 20.”
“We never thought we’d say this, but thank heaven for French foreign-policy exceptionalism. At least for the time being, Francois Hollande’s Socialist government has saved the West from a deal that would all but guarantee that Iran becomes a nuclear power.
“While the negotiating details still aren’t fully known, the French made clear Saturday that they objected to a nuclear agreement that British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama were all too eager to sign. These two leaders remind no one, least of all the Iranians, of Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. That left the French to protect against a historic security blunder, with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declaring in an interview with French radio that while France still hopes for an agreement with Tehran, it won’t accept a ‘sucker’s deal.’”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sunday Nov. 10.
“This is a country that has tens of thousands of people in the street chanting ‘death to America’ the other day. This is a country that is participating, as we speak, in a mass slaughter of men, women and children – tens of thousands of them – in Syria....
“It’s not only my concern that this is a bad deal. There are many, many Arab leaders in the region who are saying this is a very bad deal for the region and for the world. And you know, when you have the Arabs and the Israelis speaking in one voice, it doesn’t happen very often, I think it’s worth paying attention.”