Geneva Talks: Is France the only spoiler?

Geneva negotiationsIn my last blog posted on 00th of this month I had raised a question, who is sabotaging Geneva talks? Despite fully cognizant of my limitations to understand game plan of super powers, I disagreed with the statement of US Secretary of State, John Kerry, “Iran has backed out”. I tried to explore the names of the countries that could be termed ‘spoiler’ and the suspects were France, Saudi Arabia and of course Israel.

Since I started blog writing some of my favorite themes have remained: 1) US the biggest arms seller, 2) US busy in establishing its hegemony around through promoting regional powers, 3) US-Iran rift is not Iranian nuclear program but oil game, 4) US-Saudi-Israel proxy war in Syria is also aimed at testing strength of China, Russia and Iran, who also claim to be regional powers, at least and 5) a conviction that the US initiate conflicts around the world and supply funds and arms to rival groups to keep its arsenal factories running at full capacity.

According to a report it is important to understand about negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, which has less to do with nuclear issues than it does with the back-room diplomatic dance that has Israel, Saudi Arabia and France doing everything in their power to derail plan to ease sanctions on Iran. There is growing consensus that P5+1 (US, UK, France, Russia and China, plus Germany) isn’t ready to negotiate with Iran until they negotiate amongst themselves.

At this point it is not Iran that is jeopardizing progress for another round of talks in Geneva — but France, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Washington and Paris are actually staging a very clever game of good-cop, bad-cop to force Tehran into more concessions, but this is far from the reality. The reality is that there are some very influential forces, particularly in France, who have largely sidelined President Hollande in this affair.

Allegedly, the two key spoilers are Meyer Habib, a member of French parliament and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Meyer Habib, a member of French parliament with an Israeli passport used to serve as a spokesman for Israel’s right-wing Likud in France and reportedly a close confidante of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in tandem with Habib, is attempting to derail the talks in Geneva because of security concerns for Israel. Habib and Fabius were doing Israel’s bidding, passing messages back and forth from Tel Aviv to Paris. Those messages have contained threats, too, such as an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities if the Geneva deal went through. This was a message passed from Habib to Fabius.

What makes it particularly difficult for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is that his ability to negotiate is challenged by the fact that he has enemies inside Iran—in the form of the hardliner Revolutionary Guards Corps, who may also wish to derail these talks. Therefore, the details of any potential deal were to be kept secret to give Rouhani more leverage in the negotiations from an internal perspective. What Habib and Fabius succeeded in doing was revealing those secret aspects of the deal and their intention was specifically to make it difficult for Rouhani to negotiate by provoking his Iranian rivals.

The Saudis (as well as the French) are already reeling from Washington’s decision not to launch airstrikes on Syria, and the French are keen to keep the Saudis happy. At stake are massive military contracts and nuclear power plants (in countries not friendly to Iran) and other energy deals.

Even Washington, through John Kerry, is helping Israel, France and Saudi Arabia by blaming the failure of the last round on Iran. It was the first breakthrough seen on this issue, but the compromise has been compromised. France—run by Saudi/Qatari money and Israeli influence—has all but sabotaged the deal. The level of Israeli influence in Washington is making it difficult to provide a counterbalance to the diplomatic gaming. If the Obama administration is willing to see this through, it requires reining certain forces; France certainly does not have the power to stop it from happening.

 

 

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