In our last post we opined that media outlets seems more interested in blaming those it perceives as blocking a nuclear deal with Iran than the devil in the details of an agreement. Over the weekend a new scapegoat was found: France.
Consider this tweet from Al-Monitor’s industrious Laura Rozen:
Another p5 diplomat speaking not for attribution said no one p5 side telling them what going on, implied p5 divided, said it’s ‘outrageous’
What, exactly, is so outrageous about a lack of consensus within the P5+1? If the Iranians have the upper hand in anything here, it’s that they don’t have nearly as much internal negotiating to do before they reach the table.
spoke of “several points that … we’re not satisfied with compared to the initial text,” telling France-Inter Radio his nation does not want to be part of a “con game.”
Now why would Fabius throw cold water on the party? More from the WP:
Iran’s Arak reactor southeast of Tehran could produce enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons a year once it goes online, which is expected to happen next year. Fabius said France was seeking a freeze on construction during negotiations.
He also spoke of disagreement over efforts to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment to levels that would require substantial further enriching before they could be used as the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.
Sounds reasonable to us (even if the media is disgruntled); we wouldn’t be surprised if Fabius heard something he didn’t like during a pre-negotiation visit to Paris by Iranian FM Zarif. Better to take another week or so for the sake of global peace and security; warm fuzzies can wait.