Will Obama’s foreign policy “mend fences” with Europe? Not very likely:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama’s positions on Iran, according to reports that have reached Israel’s government.
Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate’s stance on Iran as “utterly immature” and comprised of “formulations empty of all content.”
Obama visited Paris in July, and the Iranian issue was at the heart of his meeting with Sarkozy. At a joint press conference afterward, Obama urged Iran to accept the West’s proposal on its nuclear program, saying that Iran was creating a serious situation that endangered both Israel and the West.
According to the reports reaching Israel, Sarkozy told Obama at that meeting that if the new American president elected in November changed his country’s policy toward Iran, that would be “very problematic.”
“The policy of few powers in insisting on suspension as a precondition for negotiations bears zero relation to realities and is an irrational and failed policy,” Khazaee said.
He said that instead of imposing economic penalties on Tehran, which has been hit with three rounds of U.N. sanctions, “a solution that is based on realities … should be pursued.”
And of course Iran’s not going to halt its uranium enrichment program. The Haaretz article reports,
The French intelligence community believes that Iran has already obtained about 40 percent of the enriched uranium it would need for its first bomb, and that at its current rate, it will obtain the rest of the uranium it needs in the spring or summer of 2009.
However, French agencies are divided over what Iran is likely to do once it has this uranium. One view is that the Iranians will immediately make a nuclear bomb, in order to demonstrate their capability. The other is that Iran will continue enriching uranium without making a bomb – at least until it has enough enriched uranium for several bombs.
I.e., the French conclude that the Iranians will have one bomb, or many bombs.
The Obama campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Sarko’s statements.
Obama believes Iran’s a tiny country that poses no threat to us,
Sarko has reason to be concerned about Obama’s Iran policy. Obama can single-handedly undo any progress France and the other EU countries (who are within missile range, by the way) may make in pressuring Iran towards ceasing the uranium enrichment program.
Don’t believe for a moment that Obama’s attitude towards Iran will sit well with Europe.
The Disarming Mr. Obama (by subscription)
There’s at least one government program Democrats are planning to cut deeply next year. Rep. Barney Frank last week told the editorial board of his home district’s South Coast Standard-Times that defense spending will be slashed by 25% in the next Congress. He said such dramatic cuts would likely force the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and a rollback in Pentagon plans for high-tech weaponry. “We don’t need all these fancy new weapons,” the Massachusetts liberal told the paper’s editors.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has made similar comments on the campaign trail. In a video circulating on the Web (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnTaWTfwsFU&feature=related), he says he intends to cut “tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending” at the Pentagon. “I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our investments in future combat systems.” He also would institute a new oversight panel to monitor the DoD’s existing planning panel to make sure “it is not used to justify unnecessary spending.”
Also today, Rep. Barney Frank defended his call for a 25 percent cut in military spending in a brief interview with Politico on Monday, saying that “if the country got out of Iraq it could quickly reduce military spending.”