Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sarkozy steps into Iran "war" debate

Le Nouvel Observatuer snagged an exclusive interview with Nicolas Sarkozy during Moamer Kadhafi's rather controversial visit. Two interesting bits came out foreign policy-wise, the first on the situation with regard to Iran:

...The problem for us is not so much the risk that the Americans will launch themselves into a military intervention but that the Israelis consider their security truly threatened. The danger of a war exists. If Iran allows the IAEA to do its checks, I will be ready to come to Tehran and examine a civil nuclear cooperation. I have the confidence of the Israelis and the Americans on this question. The Americans are not, here, the warmongerers.
Sarkozy certainly hit the nail on the head; the US NIE, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with the Iranian ability to enrich uranium (the hardest part of the bomb-making process), has taken the life out of a concerted UN sanctions effort that actually means anything. Politically, it makes it look like the US has left Sarkozy hanging after he stepped out to voice his support for more sanctions. Militarily, this increases the danger that Israel will feel that once again it's on its own, and might launch a desperate unilateral attack. That being said, Sarkozy's ability to interject French business interests into a fragile geopolitical problem leave me rather speechless.

Second thing foreign policy related, Sarkozy clarified his policy vis-a-vis the US, distancing himself from Bush more directly than usual:
I wanted to reconcile France and the United States, not with the Bush administration. When I delivered my speech in Congress, I was applauded more by the Democrates than the Republicans. By renewing these relations, I obtained two things. Firstly that the American objections to European defense are lifted. The influence of France in Europe is much more great in this way now than when we opposed the United States. Secondly, I obtained advances on the environment and the Kyoto Protocol. If a man like Al Gore comes regularly to France to support me and if the question of the environment has become central in America today, that is also because I made things happen.
I can't tell if he is trying to convince the French that he has achieved something of if he is trying to convince himself.


Alex said...

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( )?

Boz said...

Never heard of the man, but his arguments are some of the nuttiest I've seen.