Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Israel and Saudi Arabia pressure France to sabotage Iran deal

  The election of the reformist Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and his strong diplomatic efforts to hammer out a deal with western powers on outstanding issues over Iran's nuclear program led many observers to expect a rapprochement with Tehran.
A rapprochement with Iran that led to removal of some sanctions could be of benefit not only to Iran but to western business interests. However, Israel is staunchly opposed to any deal with Iran, so much so that it has threatened an attack should the present deal be accepted: A French member of parliament telephoned French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Geneva at the weekend to warn him that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if the P5+1 nations did not stiffen their terms on a deal with Iran, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Sunday. The French MP, Meyer Habib, allegedly said: “If you don’t toughen your positions, Netanyahu will attack Iran. I know this. I know him. You have to toughen your positions in order to prevent war.
The pro-Israel talking head is none other then Lee Kaplan. (And, I laugh and laugh. Buffy? You around?)

According to and also this source, the Hollande government took this threat as a reason to sabotage the deal but also in return to gain arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a country that along with Israel strongly opposes the deal. Of course, this incentive to sabotage the deal is not mentioned by the French. As one article puts it: The Saudi government had repeatedly made it clear they opposed diplomacy with Iran, while playing up the idea that they wanted significant extra arms purchases in anticipation of having to defend their coast when the international community eventually attacks Iran outright.

However, Iran continues to meet some of the demands of the west including expanded monitoring. An expanded monitoring deal was reached with UN nuclear chief Yukiya Amano: It is a so-called "roadmap'' that will give UN inspectors a broader reach, including access to a heavy water reactor under construction and a key uranium mine. In response to this development, the French foreign minister claimed that he was hopeful a deal could be reached with Iran, although there were a few points upon which Tehran still had to make an effort. The minister Laurent Fabius said in a radio interview: "We are not far from an agreement with the Iranians, but we are not there yet". Whether France will continue to follow along a path dictated by Israel and Saudi Arabia remains to be seen.
The above piece and an oped from RT make for interesting reading and listening
Share your thoughts.
French derailing of Iran deal: Scoring points with Israel, selling guns to Saudis


The motivation behind French toughness at the P5+1 talks with Iran last week are President Hollande’s wish to score points ahead of his visit to Israel and France’s sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, says Barbara Slavin, an expert on US foreign policy.
The French intervention stalled negotiations with Iran last weekend and postponed the adoption of a much-anticipated deal, which would be the next step in defusing tension over Iran’s nuclear program.

RT: France is widely accused of blocking a major breakthrough at the talks last weekend. What was behind the French position?
Barbara Slavin: I think there are a number of things. First of all, France has been consistently hard-line on this issue and this goes back a number of years. So I think they are consistent particularly on this facility that might produce plutonium. The French have made it clear that they don’t want to see that facility completed. The Iranians want to complete it and then send out the spent fuel, but the French don’t want it to be completed at all; they think there is too much proliferation risk. There are other factors as well. As we know, the French like to go their own way - sometimes they tack to the right, sometimes they tack to the left. They were opposed to the US invading Iraq but they appeared to be a little bit to the right of the United States and the other members of the P5+1 on this issue. Then there is a fact that Francois Holland, the French president, is going to Israel this week; he’ll score some points there, he is a new hero of the neo-conservatives in this country now. And then France has a very important relationship with the Gulf Arabs, especially with the Saudis, and wants to sell more weapons. Of course, there is a mixture of motives. It’s not necessarily bad for a deal, it could produce a better deal. But I do think that it was not very diplomatic of Laurent Fabius, the Foreign Minister, to say some of the things he said to journalists in Geneva. I really don’t think that was helpful.

RT: France has recently signed a billion-dollar defense deal with Saudi Arabia - how much could that have influenced the French stance in the talks?
BS: It’s possible. I mean the United States has signed a 60 billion dollar defense deal with Saudi Arabia recently and with other Gulf states. I mean it’s always there. But in this I would credit the French for being consistently hard-line. I was told before the Geneva meeting that the French were going to take a very hard line on Iran’s heavy water reactor, so that shouldn’t have come out as surprise. I think the question is about the sequencing, you know, do you allow work to continue, do you freeze work on it, do you say that this is an end of the game - this cannot be a functioning facility - or it has to be changed into a light water reactor, or do you try to establish all of this? I think this is what we will see in a wiggle room of negotiations.
RT: Kerry's rhetoric seems to have taken a different turn today. He's now saying it's Iran that refused to sign the agreement. Why the sudden change?
BS: Well, John Kerry is generally quite diplomatic and he wants a deal. And if it is France that is in the way, he is not going out to publically criticize the French; he is going to work behind the scenes to try to convince them to sign on. I’ve also been told by European officials that at the end of these marathon negotiations, there was agreement among the P5+1 on a proposal, and that at the end it was a little bit too much for the Iranians to sign on to without going home and consulting with supreme leader, Khomeini, and other senior officials. It is possible that the French were obstreperous and the Iranians didn’t agree - both things could be true.

RT: In general, though, the US appeared to be more eager than before to strike a deal. What was different about this latest round of talks?
BS: I think the deal is in everyone’s interest. This is just a question of the United States and Iran. We have maximum leverage now because of the impact of sanctions that have been imposed the last couple of years. We have maximum international unity on the issue, and Iran very much needs a deal. President Rouhani was elected to get a deal and improve relations with the West and the United States in particular. So there is a lot of motivation on both sides. If we wait, Iran will continue its program, which is dangerous for us, for the Israelis, for the Gulf Arabs. And the leverage that we achieved is decimated because it is not at all clear that even if the US Congress passes more sanctions, the other countries will follow the US lead. Sanctions have a way of unraveling as we learned all too well in Iraq. So I think we have to be very careful, we have to use the maximum leverage that we have now to strike a good and reasonable deal.

RT: Israel has called the possible agreement 'very bad' and 'dangerous'. What kind of deal would they welcome?
BS: The Israelis don’t really have a choice. They can moan and groan and try to get a tougher deal certainly, but they don’t have a choice, they are not the ones who will be signing the agreement, which is a cause of their great frustration. I think their relations with the US at the end of the day is of bigger importance, they are not going to blow up that relationship because of an agreement that will indeed make it more difficult for Iran to break out and build nuclear weapons, which is what the Israelis say that they want.

RT: If a deal were to be concluded soon, how would that play out with the West's allies like Israel and the Gulf states?
BS: I think we have tremendous bonuses for the situation in Syria, which is so intractable, for the situation in Afghanistan, where the United States hopes to withdraw most of its troops and its NATO allies as well. The Atlantic council just put out a report last week about Iran, Afghanistan and South Asia and what the implications of nuclear agreement might be for better relations in this area among all of these countries, how it could benefit their economies, benefit their energy flows and water security. So there is a lot riding on this nuclear negotiation.

RT: Iran's adopted a positive attitude towards working out an agreement. Can we expect a breakthrough anytime soon?
BS: It’s Iran that has changed its attitude towards talks most radically. This is Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who came with a new proposal at the last round of talks and who is very serious about wanting to get an agreement. For him and Rouhani this is a second chance. They did manage to improve Iran’s relations with the US and get a nuclear deal the last time they were in power, and I think they are determined to do it now. It’s an important agreement. It doesn’t, unfortunately, specify that the IAEA can go to the Parchin military site and it doesn’t say they can inspect the heavy water reactor at Arak, but it pledges increased cooperation and will provide more access to some facilities. It’s a good beginning.

RT: U.S. lawmakers have been talking about new sanctions against Iran. What effect would that have?
BS: Well, they can talk. I’m hopeful that the congressional calendar now is so short… they really only have a couple of weeks before they recess for Thanksgiving and all the other various holidays that they won’t have time to attach mass-pass legislation. But there are people who will try and will argue that we give a smaller leverage. I think it would hurt the process, but, you know, Congress has a mind of its own.


  1. Looking for Buffy here
    Lee Kaplan.... the same infamous notorious Lee Kaplan that we 'interacted' with oh so long ago

    Or should I say he just called us names and we laughed at his ridiculousness?

    Gallier, if you are about any input on this would be most appreciated
    Though I am aware you hold the opinion for valid reasons that France is Zionist controlled territory
    And sadly that France is also stuck with Bernard Henri Levy ( a follower of Judaism) and a so called philosopher who never misses the opportunity to promote wars on Arab nations

    1. Sorry, Lee Kaplan I saw him recently in "debate" with Ken O'Keefe, what a self-important buffoon. His only redeeming quality is that he presents the "official narrative" in a compact and accessible manner. To translate a funny quote of Michel Audiard "I've seen dumbasses in my life but he is a synthesis" (j'en ai vu des cons dans ma vie, mais lui c'est une synthèse).

      Yes France is in the hand of the zionist, directly via their neocon agents like Fabius, BHL and their agencies (LiCRA, CRIF etc.) or indirectly via the b'nai b'rith controlled masonic lodges GLdF and GOF.

    2. "I've seen dumbasses in my life but he is a synthesis"

      good one gallier!

      Self important buffoon is also very good

      "His only redeeming quality is that he presents the "official narrative" in a compact and accessible manner"

      Yes, he does. It was very noticeable in the Press Tv piece
      He hits all the right buttons. Pushes the emotions. Etc
      All very important if one wishes to be very manipulative
      And clearly Mr Kaplan does wish to be manipulative

      Gallier: what do you think of Kerry blaming Iran
      Playing to the domestic audience
      Advancing the same propagandistic agenda
      Non alienation of the Israeli lobby
      All of the above
      And more?

  2. Penny,
    Pepe weighs in on the France, Saudi, Iran, isreal Geneva fiasco Here

    He's always good for an entertaining view.


    1. Thanks Karin

      reading it now and I notice he picked up the meme of

      France is showing responsibility

      hahaha. omg
      The same shite uttered by Lee Kaplan
      It must be one of the talking points put out by Israel

      How to spin the fact that Israel and France are playing politics with the entire globe

  3. Speaking of lee kaplan one word UGH- can't stand that guy

    a friend for MENA just tweeted this link to a Pepe Podcast from today on Geneva

    If I don't listen tonight, will tomarrow in the a.m. I'm sure he will make me smile. :)
    He cracks me up over bandar often.

  4. How the BBC fabricated the Syrian "School Napalm Strike" story @BBCNews

  5. Buffy here!

    LMAO!! Yeah, I remember Lee! Mr. ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME!!! lol lol lol

    I didn't know he had boobs though :O

    Okay, all kidding aside, but when oh when are western governments going to throw the Israeli yoke off of their necks? Israel must have the dirt on everyone and given their hands in the whole NSA debacle this is not surprising, of course it goes unmentioned in the msm. Think of the blackmail opportunities of all that juicy data? On all those western politicos! (Did Rob Ford piss the wrong group off - I wonder).

    I think what Israel did here is clearly extortion - sort of like the roma kids I recall from the parking lots of Germany! They would approach you and say "I will guard your car against anyone who might break into it, or slash your tyres, only 5 marks!" Of course this is a little grander I'd say. Of course Israel scuttled this baby step in dealing with the remote possibility of Iran obtaining weapons grade plutonium. That France is the puppet here is really not surprising, hey they got a nice deal with Israel's new BBF Saudi Arabia - that bastion of freedom in the ME!!

    lol lol lol

    I have to just shake my head.

    Still though, this behaviour on the part of Israel is starting to wake up so many people who are simply sick to death of the constant, neverending whining from the Chosens.


    Nice piece as usual Penny!!

    PS - how goes the reno?

    1. "I didn't know he had boobs though :O"

      rofl, I thought the same thing!

      I forgot about the all caps/ all the time

      Kerry appears to be covering for Israel big time.
      I mean let them have it
      The world should know how devious Israel is. As if they don't already?
      I know, I know, there are still some asleep persons.

      Speaking of never ending whining. Did you catch Mr Kaplan play the anti -semite card
      Sooooo typical. So tired

      As for the reno, it goes, it goes....
      And goes and goes and goes
      Hell of a lot of work
      eat, sleep, live the reno

    2. Oh Kaplan uses the whole plethora of victimized Jew routine - he's one of the worst, but oddly this only helps to wake people up as the inevitable eye-rolls begin!

      Yeah, I caught the whole 'Neville Chamberlain' and 'we all know where that led! It's really really old schtick! oy!

      Kerry, oddly I almost (almost not quite) feel sorry for him. I guess the same sort of way I almost (almost not quite) feel sorry for Rob Ford. (I know I am an odd one) ;)

      "eat, sleep, live the reno"

      That made me laugh, as I am well aquainted with 'renos'. It feels sometimes like you will never be free of it! You look around your house and there is no where left which is calm, clean and restful. No, the disaster which is now your house looms at every corner, ready and willing to pounce!

      It does end though!! You will be happy and pleased! ;)


    3. Hey buff

      I keep the end in sight
      It helps me see past all the dirt, dust and disaster

    4. omg
      there is a definite resemblance