November 10, 2013

France, Once A Great Nation, Is Now Acting A Fool And Punching Outside Its Weight Class

France: Can you remove yourself from the international scene for like, 5 or 10 years, until you get your head straightened out? Good? Thanks. Sincerely, the human species.

An excerpt from, "Why France Is to Blame for Blocking the Iran Nuclear Agreement" by Christopher Dickey, The Daily Beast, November 10:
France blocked the first stage of a nuclear deal with Iran that had support from the United States, Britain, Germany, most of the rest of Europe, Russia, and China. The simple—too simple—explanation for the French obstruction? They just want to call attention to themselves. They are contrary. They are perverse. They want to reestablish their weight in international affairs—their grandeur, if you will—precisely because there’s not much of it left.

More than a decade ago, that’s what American pundits said when the government of French President Jacques Chirac tried to thwart the Bush administration’s rush to war in Iraq. Now the government of President Fran├žois Hollande is throwing a wrench into the American rush toward peace with Iran.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he was preventing his allies from falling for an Iranian “con game.” And now, as in 2003, there may be good reasons for the French to sound a note of caution, but there are also some petty and pretty ugly ones.
An excerpt from, "After Reportedly Being Offered Saudi Weapons Sales, France Tries to Blow Up Iran Deal" by emptywheel, November 9:
So France will make an effort to thwart any deal. And if talks fail, they’ll get a big chunk of Saudi Arabia’s considerable weapons spending, at a time when the Saudis will probably be even further ramping up their purchases.

France, it seems, aspires to be the European participant in the growing Saudi-Israeli power block.
An excerpt from, "France Blocks U.S. Pivot To Persia" by 'b' of Moon of Alabama, November 10:
France has been and is a major nuclear proliferator in the Middle East. While it worked and works to enable some countries to build nuclear weapons it wants to deny any and all civil nuclear capabilities to others. The primary reasons are greed and a certain craving for its former grandeur which today is no longer supported by the necessary economic and military means.

France blew up the historic deal and, despite earlier signals from France, the other "western" countries involved were not prepared for this and their foreign ministers incapable of handling French intransigeance. This disunity within the P5+1 group negotiating with Iran will hamper all further negotiations. Who can Iran negotiate with if there is no united opposition?

The current break down gives the U.S. Congress and the Netanyahoo lackeys therein a chance to add further sanctions on Iran by attaching them to next weeks National Defense Authorization Act. But the P5+1 disunity is, at least in the short term, positive for Iran. No one can accuse it now of not being willing to negotiate and of not actively seeking a compromise. The sanctions Congress will enact are third party sanctions where it will "punish" other countries for dealing with Iran. As it is obviously not Iran that is holding up a deal those third party countries will be quite unwilling to follow such a U.S. Congress diktat. The sanction regime will thereby break down. Slowly first, but then with ever increasing speed.