‘Iran nuclear deal game: ‘France-good cop & US-bad cop’

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (C) walks with others during a break in a meeting with world representatives seeking to pin down a nuclear deal with Iran at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne March 31, 2015. (Reuters/Brendan Smialowski)
Powerful forces in France along with the US administration don’t want a nuclear deal with Iran; they have an interest in tension with it, says Seyed Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran. They are supported by Saudis and Israel as well, he added.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris will not support the deal if Iran refuses nuclear inspectors inside all installations - including military sites. Tehran has repeatedly refused such demands, insisting that its military facilities are not part of the atomic program.

RT:Iran's Foreign Minister says an agreement is possible if “people have their foot in reality, not in illusions.” He also warns against excessive demands. What do you make of his assessment?

Seyed Mohammad Marandi: The French foreign minister seems to be intent on creating problems for a deal. Obviously, no sovereign country is going to allow all of its military sites to be inspected by foreign nations, especially when the US government repeatedly threatens Iran with war; when the US president constantly says “all options are on the table,” or the vice-president says we may launch a war on Iran if we have to.” That obviously makes it very important for the Iranians to be very careful about sensitive information.

So what the French regime is trying to do is to take Iranian dignity and sovereignty away from it. Remember, this is the same French regime that when the Saudis began its aggression against Yemen and started killing thousands of innocent Yemenis, which is continuing, the French president immediately tried to take advantage of the situation and sell more weapons to the Saudis. The French government isn’t exactly a rational actor in all this.

A general view of Bushehr nuclear power plant, 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran (Reuters/Raheb Homavandi)

RT:Why do you think there are such big differences in how the sides interpret the framework deal?

SMM: The French government is very much dependent on Qatari and Saudi oil wealth, and of course these ironically are the two regimes that promote extremism more than any other country in the world. The Saudis and the Qataris promote Wahhabism. Right now both of them are supporting Al Qaeda in Syria; the al-Nusra Front which is the Al-Qaeda branch in Syria is heavily-funded by both of these governments, alongside the Turks.

New documents are coming out showing that Americans knew this all along. But it’s interesting that France, which claims to be an utterly secular government, is so closely aligned to these two regimes that promote extremism, and so dependent on wealth that comes from the oil money in these Persian Gulf states.

RT:The French foreign minister's comment is not the first of its kind from Western politicians. There was the US Republicans' letter to Tehran. Is this a part of a coordinated effort to undermine any potential deal?

SMM: That is what quite a few people in Iran believe: They think that there are very powerful forces at play in the West that do not want a deal, that have an invested interest in tension. They are supported by the Saudi and Israeli regime.

There are others [who] believe that there is some sort of coordination even between the US administration and the French, where one plays the good cop, and the other the bad cop. But at the end of the day, if the US is unable to come to an agreement with Iran this will look very bad for the US because Iran has been very flexible over the past year and a half; it has allowed extensive and intrusive expectations; it has slowed down key element of its peaceful nuclear program. Despite the fact that there has never been any evidence to show that Iran’s nuclear program has been anything but peaceful.

If the US government and the French are unable to strike a deal with the current Iranian administration, Iranian public’s opinion will conclude that the US never really wanted a deal. I think the international community - especially countries like Russia, China, the non-aligned movement and BRICS countries in general - will begin to ignore the US sanctions regime because they will see it for what it is: unjust, inhuman and barbaric.


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