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Monday, November 11, 2013

France has been consistent about Iran

In the JPost, Benny Weinthal argues that despite the surprise of many commentators, France has actually been consistent about Iran.
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.
Navon, the director of the political science and communications department at the Jerusalem Orthodox College, and teacher of International Relations at Tel Aviv University and at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, said France sees an agreement that “must remove the threat of Iran reaching military capability” with respect to its nuclear program.
Navon pointed to Hollande’s willingness to confront Iran’s proxy – the regime of President Bashar Assad in Syria, which was a French Mandate following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire – with military force.
He “gave the orders to shoot” but US President Barack Obama pulled the plug on missile strikes and deferred the dispute to Congress for approval.
Richard Landes, a distinguished historian at Boston University with an expertise in French history, told the Post, “The fact is that his [Hollande] administration has proven to be tougher than [former French president Nicolas] Sarkozy.”
Landes noted that Hollande rapidly made the decision to go into Mali. Commentators “did not anticipate this kind of backbone.”
The perceived lack of US tenaciousness and seriousness toward Iran’s drive to build a nuclear weapons device was captured in the US media.
Read the whole thing.

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