The title of a new article in Foreign Policy is “The French Don’t Trust Iran’s Nuclear Promises, But They Don’t Trust Washington Much Either.” That about says it all I think.
France in the past has not been known as a hawk on foreign policy issues. However, the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran is scaring even the French, who do not want to see Iran as a nuclear power.
Here are a few quotes from the article regarding French uneasiness over the White House’s intentions.
“Repeating that an agreement has to be reached by the end of March is a bad tactic. Pressure on ourselves to conclude at any price,” Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador in Washington, tweeted on March 20. On Tuesday, François Delattre, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, said that Iran’s progress was “insufficient.”
Differences between Washington and Paris have been quietly brewing for months. The French feel that they are being kept out of the loop in critical discussions. The multilateral framework of Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany) has turned into a bilateral discussion between Iran and the United States.
This exclusion has been coupled with increasing pressure from Washington. French diplomats complain (albeit only privately) that their American counterparts are trying to force them to make concessions on issues like the number of centrifuges allowed or sanctions in order to reach an agreement by March 31, a deadline that the French, like many of the White House’s critics back home, see as artificial and counterproductive.
But policymakers in Paris might not trust the Americans much, either — and not just when it comes to the nuclear negotiations. French officials no longer hide their dismay at many of Washington’s policies in the Middle East.
So another key ally of the United States and a nuclear power doesn’t trust the intentions and agenda of the Obama administration, which is once more called on the carpet as pushing for a deal with Iran to burnish Obama’s legacy rather than pursuing the long-term national security of the United States. When are the American people going to wake up to what is happening? How much more evidence do we need of Obama’s duplicity?