Report: France Begrudgingly Accepted Nuclear Deal Despite Failure to Achieve Original Objectives
France has begrudgingly acceded a nuclear deal that failed to achieve the original objectives of a gross rolling back of Iran’s nuclear program, mostly for economic reasons, a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece by the former executive editor of the International Herald Tribune said on Monday.
European countries have been notably quiet over the Iran deal, compared with the debate in the U.S. — even in the very countries that were party to the negotiations with Tehran: the U.K., Germany and France.
But now, some commentary has emerged shedding new light on French attitudes. Bruno Tertais of the French Foundation for Strategic Research wrote in Canadian newspaper Le Devoir that European negotiators were forced to climb down from their aims at near-dismantling Iran’s nuclear program over pressure from the Obama administration to get the deal done, wrote John Vinocur in the WSJ.
Additionally, he wrote that a French diplomat had graded the Iran deal a measly “C-plus,” especially as the deal maintains a 15-year sunset clause and allows the Iranian regime to keep thousands of centrifuges spinning.
Vinocur explained that the French political establishment’s acquiescence to the nuclear accord, though the country was often considered among the more hard-line negotiators in the run-up to the deal’s finalization, is largely for economic reasons.
He wrote, “an economically nonperforming President [Francoise] Hollande couldn’t say ‘no’ to French industry wanting a shot at new Iranian contracts.” Iran dangled on Wednesday a list of $50 billion in energy and water projects, available once sanctions are lifted. French companies undoubtedly want a piece of that pie, as do firms in Germany and Britain, which was the only country in Europe to have suspended diplomatic relations with Iran. The British embassy reopened on Sunday to little protest in Iran.