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Monday, October 26, 2009

Kouchner: Either we solve Iran or Israel will

As opposed to previous occasions, this time, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner actually seems to get it. In an interview with London's Daily Telegraph that was done in Beirut, Kouchner warns that if the P - 5+1 powers do not stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Israel will.
"They [the Israelis] will not tolerate an Iranian bomb. We know that, all of us. So that is an additional risk and that is why we must decrease the tension and solve the problem. Hopefully we are going to stop this race to a confrontation," said Mr Kouchner.

"There is the time that Israel will offer us before reacting, because Israel will react as soon as they know clearly that there is a threat."


France, Britain and America have pledged to review their policy at the end of this year. If there is no agreement, they will probably urge the UN to impose more economic sanctions on Iran.

But Mr Kouchner made clear his personal scepticism. He fears that tightening the existing sanctions would simply impoverish ordinary Iranians, weaken the opposition and fail to influence the regime.

"Certainly, the upper people in the Iranian government, they will not suffer from sanctions. But the people of the bazaar and the people on the street, the women and the youngsters, they will certainly suffer from that," said Mr Kouchner.

"So this is a problem. It is not a discovery. I have witnessed sanctions all over the world and it's always targeting the poor people more than the rich people."
Kouchner missed something here. At this point, the Iranian people so hate Ahamdinejad that they may be willing to endure sanctions if they have a chance of forcing him out of office.

But he's right about Israel. Israel has far more at stake in stopping Iran than any other country. And if our government sees that the P - 5+1 isn't getting the job done, they are very likely to go on the offensive.

Iran is now due to give its answer on Wednesday to the latest P - 5+1 proposal for sending 80% of Iran's low enriched uranium to Russia and France for enrichment. That proposal may not satisfy Israel anyway, but if it is accepted, the US will probably put enormous pressure on Israel not to strike Iran.


At 6:11 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Iranians may want to go for broke. They have no reason to accept an 80% deal when they can get 100% down the road later.


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