Yesterday I posted about Chirac’s statement that Iran’s bomb would pose no danger. Today Maria sent this article:
French President Jacques Chirac is attempting to sabotage U.S.-led efforts to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran, according to a report by the center-left French daily, Le Monde.
In a throwback to much-criticized behavior during the buildup to the Iraq war, Chirac planned to send his foreign minister on a secret trip to Tehran in late January, armed with a personal letter of assurances for Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the daily reported.
Chirac wanted “to send a message to the Iranian authorities that a channel of communication can be kept open despite the vote by the United Nations Security Council” to impose sanctions on Iran, the paper wrote.
Today’s Le Monde editorial explains what the reasoning may be behind Chirac’s move (my translation):
While, on one hand, trying to resolve the Lebanese crisis and, on the other hand, trying to protect the French soldiers in the UNIFIL forces in Southern Lebanon, Chirac had thought that it would be advantageous to integrate the Iranians in the regional play. Conversations started after the summer of 2006. Trips to Teheran by Philippe Douste-Blazy and by another emmisary were considered in January, later to be cancelled due to the perplexed, and even frankly hostile, reactions of France’s various partners.