France is apparently taking a comparatively harder line in approaching Iran on its nuclear program activities of late.
France accused Iran on Thursday of secretly making nuclear weapons, ditching Europe’s traditional diplomatic caution for bluntness in remarks that echoed the tough U.S. stance on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
The accusation from French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy — which Iran quickly denied — appeared to reflect mounting exasperation and a tougher stance by one of three key European negotiators.
”No civilian nuclear program can explain the Iranian nuclear program. It is a clandestine military nuclear program,” Douste-Blazy said on France-2 television.
Interesting that France would take a stronger stance than the other nations … is it a strategy being played that is more defensive or offensive in nature?
The French Foreign Ministry insisted that Douste-Blazy’s remarks were in line with the European position on Iran, but fellow negotiators Germany and Britain have not spoken so frankly.
”The international community has sent a very firm message in telling the Iranians to return to reason and suspend all nuclear activity and the enrichment and conversion of uranium, but they aren’t listening to us,” Douste-Blazy said.
”Now it’s up to the Security Council to say what it will do, what means it will use to stop, to manage, to halt this terrible crisis of nuclear proliferation caused by Iran,” Douste-Blazy said.
Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Larijani, lashed back.
”I recommend that Mr. Douste-Blazy speak in diplomatic terms and avoid increasing tension,” he said, according to Iranian state-run television. ”The motivation of the French foreign minister behind his new comments is ambiguous to us. But it is in the interests of the region that the West adopts a logical stance toward Iran’s nuclear activities.”
The overriding logical conclusion is that Iran’s nuclear activities are a part of a policy of aggression that will likely escalate. In order for diplomacy to have a chance, both parties have to be reasonable.
Sounds like it’s time to define and further strengthen alliances, just as much as the diplomatic overtures that are being extended.