France playing ‘cool guy’ for Saudis in Iran talks

France is trying to present itself as an alternative to the US for Persian Gulf nations during the Iran talks since those nations are unhappy with Obama’s approach to Syria and Iran's nuclear situation, Middle East politics expert Seyed Ali Alavi told RT.

The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany, and Iran failed to produce an agreement over the weekend. But Seyed remains optimistic for the next round of talks, stating that Iran’s new administration is open to negotiations.  

RT:There is a lot of speculation as to why the weekend talks failed. What do you think was the main reason behind no agreement being reached?

Seyed Ali Alavi: The talks ended in absolute failure, yet there are more negotiations to come up. But it seems that Paris has played a major role in creating an obstacle for having a concrete agreement. To me, France has got a political and economic agenda behind having such an attitude. Some people may think France is trying to be tough gutty or a bad guy. In fact, France is trying to play as a ‘cool guy’ for the Saudis and the conservative states of the Persian Gulf because France is trying to introduce itself as a reliable alternative to Washington. And of course Saudis are not very happy with the Obama administration’s approach towards the Syrian crisis and towards the Iranian nuclear issue, so it seems France is trying to attract Saudis’ attention. We have some meetings [when] Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal travelled to Paris a number of times and even the chief of intelligence services of Saudis announced that there might be a new approach towards relations with the West. 

RT:Iran is showing a lot of patience here. Will this test its patience?

SA: Iran has provided a golden opportunity for the global community to come around the table and iron out an agreement. But introducing new sanctions at the same time that you are invited for negotiations is counter-productive and may erode the confidence of Iranians to continue this negotiation. 

RT:Do you think there could be a positive outcome after all of this?

SA: It should be, because even Mr. Sergey Lavrov clarified the reasons for failure. He mentioned the disagreements between the 5+1 and that Iran should not be blamed. At the same time, Iran’s new administration is quite open to negotiations. And the only thing Iran is trying to achieve is kind of recognition by 5+1 about legal enrichment and having rightful, peaceful nuclear technology. Even Iran has recently signed an agreement with the IAEA to send more inspectors for its plant. So I think we should be more optimistic.