Roger L. Simon

Iran: Sarko or Obama - who's the reactionary?

Well, you know the answer to that headline “riddle,” if you read this blog. But things are really coming to a head today as the international negotiators await word from the Iranian government (not the people!) to the UN’s latest proposal: “The plan would give Iran access to uranium enriched to a level sufficient for civilian use, but lower than what is needed for a nuclear weapon. Negotiators in Vienna had set a Friday deadline for an agreement.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the indications from Tehran are “not positive.” But he said he retains hope the Iranians will still accept the deal.”

A few days ago, many people (even a few Israelis?!) were jumping up and down about a possible nuclear breakthrough with the Mullahs. It’s the end of the day in Tehran now and it doesn’t look good (assuming this was even a breakthrough in the first place, and not a charade). The French, first President Sarkozy and here FM Kouchner, have been the skeptics all along, playing hardball with the vicious regime and being much more outspoken than our president when millions of democracy demonstrators took to the streets of Iran. More than anything, that demonstrated Obama’s core personality to me. Most of us were moved, sometimes to tears, by these brave people but Barack kept dreaming of some accommodation with Khamenei & Co., an accommodation that would yield him plaudits for negotiating a deal that in all probability would be worth less than the paper it was written on. I can’t think of one nuclear power that has told the truth, even remotely, about their development of atomic weapons. The US began the whole thing at the clandestine Manhattan Project. We should know, but apparently we don’t.

Meanwhile, as the current negotiations continue, every minute lost in blablabla is a minute used by the Iranians for weaponization. But we all know that and still the dumb show continues. There are no easy solutions, far from it, but only one superpower has muscle to do anything serious but we are as likely to do that as fly to Alpha Centauri with our current administration. No wonder Sarko is miffed, as indicated in a new “analysis” from Reuters. The writer ascribes much of it to personal slights, but even she eventually gets down to the nitty gritty – Iran: “Officials say the disconnect is centred on real issues, such as Obama’s attitude to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which has been less hardline than Sarkozy’s hawkish stance.

“There is an annoyance about what the French see as naivety in the Obama administration,” said Bruno Tertrais, a senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research.”

More to come, undoubtedly.