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US, France playing good cop-bad cop in Iran talks

RT | November 9, 2013

America and France are playing ‘good cop-bad cop’ in the P5 + 1 talks with Iran over its nuclear program, so that Washington’s position would sound more reasonable, Robert Harneis, a journalist and political analyst has told RT.

Six major world powers and Iran are holding negotiations in Geneva over Tehran’s highly-disputed nuclear program.

RT: France seems to be the most skeptical of the negotiating nations about the outcome of the talks. What’s behind its skepticism?

Robert Harneis: It is always a little difficult to understand the position of the French here. They seem to take an extreme position all the time. There are a number of reasons for this. The first is that they are playing ‘good cop-bad cop’ with the Americans. Obama is suddenly being much more reasonable in his attitude with the Iranians, and the French are out there on the flank saying “Oh, you mustn’t agree too easily, Israel must be protected,” and so on. In a sense that’s, if you like, playing the game of the Americans so that they can sound more reasonable, the French sound more unreasonable.

There is another factor, which is that everybody knows the enormous pressure of the Israeli lobby in America. It’s not quite so well-known that it’s pretty considerable in France as well.

RT: The French Foreign Minister said Israel’s position must be taken into consideration. Why such concern for Israel when even Washington called Netanyahu’s condemnation of the deal ‘premature’?

RH: Yes, it’s interesting, isn’t it, that Mr. Netanyahu has said that the deal had been concluded. Everybody else is saying it hasn’t. At any rate, the position of the French, I think, is to say things that the Americans don’t want to say at the moment. I think that’s at the bottom of it, because frankly this posturing by the French President and the French Foreign Minister makes France look pretty ridiculous on the domestic front. There is a great deal of mockery of Laurent Fabius and his very aggressive statements internally in France.

RT: We’re used to the US being one of Tehran’s harshest opponents. Do you feel that Washington’s stance is genuinely changing?

RH: Well, one would like to hope – let’s put it this way – that this is a real diplomatic revolution. The Americans ever since 1979, when the embassy drama took place in Iran, have had this slightly ridiculous, slightly vengeful obsession about dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat.

As far as anybody can tell and as far as the American security services themselves say, there is no Iranian nuclear threat. The Israelis, on the other hand, have 300 nuclear weapons. So the situation is a trifle absurd as it often is with western foreign policies.

And there are signs Obama is trying to put American foreign policy on a more sensible track. Why not have sensible relations with Iran – this is being asked in the US after all. For years, with the threat of the Soviet Union, they had no difficulty negotiating with [Mikhail] Gorbachev and men a lot more difficult than him. So, why can’t we negotiate with Iranians? Why do we have to take this ridiculous attitude that they cannot have what France, Britain, the US have – which is nuclear protection. And the Iranians say they don’t want it anyway.

So, it’s a difficult one to quite work out. But it could be that there is a real revolution taking place and the Americans are going to change their stance because they need to do business with Iran really.

RT:  Finally, what are your personal predictions? Will the sides involved manage to overcome their disagreements and strike a deal in the near future?

RH: Well, if I had to take my reputation as profit on the line, I would say that there is going to be a deal. Because they are, after all, talking only about a six-month deal, as far as we can understand it. A suspended sentence, so to speak. With the problems of gas pipelines from Iran to Europe, which Europe needs badly for its Nabucco pipeline – which has no gas without the Iranians – I think there is a very strong probability. And they’d just love to get in there and have all the contracts for rebuilding Iran. So, I hope it’s a real revolution.

November 9, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Syrian Operations at Borders with Lebanon, French Officers Held in Homs

March 5, 2012

The Lebanese army on Sunday arrested a group of Syrian armed men who had entered Lebanese territory via the border town of al-Qaa, seizing a car and a large cache of weapons.

In addition, the Syrian forces started bombing the tunnel which connects the Syrian town Jose with the region of al-Qaa in the Lebanese territory.
“The tunnel was used, facilitated by “Future” party, to the smuggling of arms and fighters to Syria,” NNA reported.

In the same issue, al-Binaa newspaper reported that “39 armed Syrians were arrested by the Lebanese army in al-Qaa region.

In parallel, the Daily Star Lebanese paper reported Monday that “around 13 French officers are being held by Syrian authorities in central Homs city.”

“It was not clear why the officers were in Syria, when they had arrived or whether they were part of a larger contingent in the city,” the paper informed.

Stating that the “French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said there was no confirmation of French armed forces being held in Syria,” the paper’s sources stressed that “Paris and Damascus were working to reach an agreement on what to do with the officers.”

Source: News agencies, Translated and Edited by

March 5, 2012 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Comments Off on Syrian Operations at Borders with Lebanon, French Officers Held in Homs