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March 22, 2015 6:08 pm

Israeli Envoys Rush to Paris in Effort to Prevent Bad Nuclear Deal

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On orders of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, France might be the one to scuttle a nuclear deal with Iran. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Israel has turned to France in order to prevent what it considers an unfavorable nuclear deal with Iran from emerging, Reuters reported on Sunday.

Top Israeli envoys were sent to Paris to confer with their French counterparts after tensions arose between France and the United States over negotiation strategy, leading the Israelis to find an ally in the leading European power.

According to the report, France seems to be the best hope for Israel at a time when the Jewish state’s relations with the American administration are tense. AFP reports that France’s officials have been stridently opposed to the direction of the current negotiations and are greatly concerned about signing a deal that would grant too much relief to Tehran.

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European officials have noted that if Paris has its way, the deal would be signed for 25 years, in contrast to the United States which is only aiming for a deal that would expire in a decade.

Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz, told Israel radio that he is flying to Paris on short notice, and may also hold meetings with other European countries to state Israel’s concerns. “This is an effort to prevent a [nuclear] deal that is bad and full of loopholes, or at least…to succeed in closing or amending some of these loopholes,” said Steinitz, who is being accompanied by Israeli National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen.

Israeli officials have long considered France as the negotiating power whose views are closest to Israel’s on the outcome of a nuclear deal with Iran. Steinitz said, that “the French helped us a great deal,”  crediting Paris with pushing for the curbs on Iran’s mid-level enrichment of uranium to 20 percent fissile purity in the preliminary nuclear deal agreed in November 2013.

The United States and France are also at odds over the negotiations, with the United States expressing its private displeasure over France’s outspoken criticism of the negotiating process and its demands for more stringent restrictions on Iran. France’s Ambassador to Washington, Gerard Araud, has been particularly vocal, criticizing the March 31 deadline for a framework deal as a “counterproductive” and “bad tactic.”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has taken a hard-line stance on negotiations with Iran, even phoning his team during the last round of negotiations to ensure that they made no more concessions. Fabius said that France wants the agreement with Iran to ensure that the Islamic Republic will not be able to produce a nuclear weapon.

American diplomats are concerned that France will block the deal at the United Nations. France, which also holds veto power at the UN Security Council, has been stridently opposed to lifting sanctions on Iran at an early stage, a position which the Iranians are making a pre-condition to signing a final deal, Israel’s NRG reported.

Fabius ordered his country’s representatives not to be flexible on the matter, saying that, “France wants an agreement, but a strong agreement, that is, one that will ensure that Iran will only have a civilian nuclear capability, but not the capability to produce an atomic bomb.”

Yet, the French also don’t fully see eye-to-eye with the Israelis, and have downplayed the sway Israel holds in Paris, saying that Prime Minister Netanyahu had overplayed his hand in his March 3 speech to Congress, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.

A senior French diplomat said that Netanyahu’s speech, which called for a total rollback of Iran’s nuclear technology, had diminished Israel’s clout. The diplomat said that, “Israel had marginalized itself. In November 2013 we were working with them and they played the game. They didn’t take unrealistic positions. But here they have gone too far. We told them to play their part so they could influence the final accord, but they have taken unrealistic positions.”

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  • ted weiss

    watch out Obama will accuse you of spying

  • Yale

    Here’s a brief summary of the deal as it stands today:

    1 The West lifts all sanctions, immediately if Iran prevails, over the term of the deal if the West stands tall.

    2. Iran contiunues to develop its nuclear infrastructure with occasional inspections. Undeclared sites will not be regulated, nor will there be any limitations on development of ICBMs.

    3. The deal expires in ten years regardless of developments.

    4. There is no provision for what happens if there is cheating.

    5. It isn’t binding, except for the first provision listed.

    What’s not to like?

    • Just asking. If the agreement is as bad as France and Israel say, why have the USA, UK, Russia, China and Germany agreed to it? Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles can reach America’s allies in the Arab world and can reach Russia and China.

  • Joe Wallendorff

    All of these nation know that if you supply Iran with the power grade U235 for their power plants the by product is plutonimu 238 and 239 which is much easier to process into bomb grade than centrifuged uranium. We have to be nuts to believe anything they say or any promise made. We have a history of them hiding and liying about whatthey have done in the past and to think they will change is childish hopeful thinking

  • Il sera sans doute necessaire de détruire d’une maniere ou d’une autres toutes les installations atomiques de l’Iran –
    Nous ne pouvons faire confiance au régime en place depuis la disparition su Sha –
    Lorsque ce pays sera a nouveau doté d’un gouvernement fiable, alors l’accés a l’energie atomique devra lui être accordé –
    Pour l’instant,ce n’est pas le cas –
    Blys

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    Well we can now eat French fries, howo about no eating of American cheese?

  • steven L

    How can the truth be unrealistic?

  • Max Cohen

    A ten year hiatus on unlimited centrifuges or a twenty-five year hiatus both reflected a hope, rather than an expectation, that the foreign policy of Iran’s leadership will mellow. But religious convictions are not likely to change significantly in either time frame. Maybe Netanyahu’s stated recommendation is the practical answer even if it is contingent upon gritty leadership from the West. Nuclear security will not be bought at a bargain basement price

  • Scott

    A senior French diplomat said that Netanyahu’s speech, which called for a total rollback of Iran’s nuclear technology, had diminished Israel’s clout. The diplomat said that, “Israel had marginalized itself. In November 2013 we were working with them and they played the game. They didn’t take unrealistic positions. But here they have gone too far. We told them to play their part so they could influence the final accord, but they have taken unrealistic positions.”

    Ah, isn’t there a UN resolution that says (which France agreed too), that Iran is to have NO enrichment capability? If so, how has Israel overplayed it’s hand?

  • nelson marans

    President Obama is so intent on making any deal with Iran to the discomfiture of Israel that the contemplated agreement is a bounty for Iran. Iran has given nothing up while having a reduction and eventually elimination of sanctions. Do the P5-1 nations care, with the possible exception of France. Apparently China and Russia always partial to Iran have no objections and Germany should with its historical record but does not want to get involved. John Kerry and his boss want a deal at any cost to Israel and that is what it apparently will be.

  • Well of course Israel should trust Europe, especially the French, British and Germans. After all, when have those companies ever betrayed the Jews?

    And to the critics of American intelligence not being competent to detect Iranian break-out to the bomb, didn’t the CIA discover in time to prevent Korean from getting the bomb? Oh, no, I guess they didn’t.

    And didn’t the CIA discover the Natanz facility’s development before it could start work? Oh, no I guess they didn’t.

    And as to Obama keeping his word, he always keeps his word. Just ask the Ukranians how Obama kept his word to honor the 1994 Bucharest agreement guaranteeing Ukraine’s security. Actually, best not to ask the Ukranians.

    But you can certainly ask the Christians of the M-E. On second thought, best not to do that. They’re busy being crucified, slaughtered, gang raped and sold into slavery.

  • Shira

    I find the results of the French very weary. It is not politics. It is about saving lives…even one life! We are so apathetic in our times, that one lost life does not mean anything unless you know them. Please stop this sickness. One life matters in all things conscious and spirit. It is about saving lives!! Not just Israel’s existentialism, which in and of itself should make a difference, but about what the end game is. We are supposed to be saving human lives here. Make a difference! Where is your voice? Stand for truth…

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