Paris, 4 Feb. (IPS) As relations between Paris and Tehran got more frosty, an influential Iranian personality urged the fanatic President to improve ties with France and Germany and also downplayed the importance of atomic energy.
On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry summoned French ambassador in Tehran to lodge Tehran’s “strong protest” to France’s “irrational, one sided and unfounded” behaviour facing recent Iranian President’s ant-Israeli declarations.
Such anti-Israeli declarations are not admissible, France told Iran.
Iran’s action was in response to France’s Foreign Affairs Ministry which, on Friday, had summoned Iranian ambassador to Paris to lodge a vigourous protest condemning Mr. Ahmadinejad’s latest outburst against the Jewish State, stating on Wednesday that “the filthy Zionist entity would disappear from the map of the world sooner than one think”.
“Such declarations against another member of the United Nations are not admissible. It harms Iran’s image with the international opinion”, the French official had told Mr. Ali Ahani.
In a tit for tat, Iranian General Director for American and European Affairs condemned the “one sided” position of Paris, telling the French ambassador how comes that Paris “shuts its eyes over the horrors of the Zionists against innocent Palestinians but can not tolerate the views of the Iranian President concerning the Zionist Entity (Israel) or the question of Holocaust”? – Which Mr. Ahmadinejad denies --
"So far, we have acted with self-restraint but if the French stance continues along these lines, we will revise our approach to them", Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s official spokesman warned on Sunday, describing the French position as "unfriendly, irrational and unrealistic".
But in an interview with the Islamic Republic daily, Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, a former Foreign Affairs Minister who now is one of the most influential advisors to the Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenehei on international relations said Iran must improve and expand its ties with Paris.
Foreign Affairs Spokesman warned France that if not changing policy, Iran might revise its attitude towards France
“Relations with Paris must be strengthened as much as possible, for there are many independent forces in France that are against American domination and are looking for closer ties with Iran, the strongest nation in the Middle East”, he told the daily that used to belong to Mr. Khamenehei.
He said in order to stop a new resolution be adopted, or at least, make it as soft as possible, Tehran must continue cooperating with the International Atomic Energy
Agency in the one hand and at the same time becomes more active in talking to the 5+1.
The Security Council on Monday held informal talks on a draft sanctions resolution prepared by the so-called European Troika (France, Germany and Great Britain) in Berlin two weeks ago, a document that was agreed by the five veto-wielding permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and United States -- plus Germany.
However, France said on Friday that non permanent members of the Security Council were asking for more time to consider the resolution and waiting for the report of the UN’s nuclear watchdog boss Mohammad ElBaradei.
Tehran also lashed out at French plans to set up a military base in the United Arab Emirates
“While oil and gas have utility everywhere, the same thing can not be said about nuclear energy. We are one of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves; France and Germany need this energy and are ready to be our partners developing these sources. Therefore, out interests are to expand our relationship with France and Germany, but also with Russia and China”, Dr. Velayati urged, in a veiled criticism of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s “all nuclear” policy made a “national issue”.
Foreign Affairs for 12 years, Dr. Velayati, still considered as the real Foreign Affairs Minister, established such a strong ties with his French and German counterparts, Roland Dumas and Hans Dietrich Genscher, that they were tagged as the “Three Musketeers”.
“In order to stand up to the American hegemony, its aggressive policy towards Iran and plans for the Middle East, we must have close ties with France and Germany and at the same time by cultivating Russia and China, we can have four of the 5+1 nations on our side”, he observed.
At the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Iranian diplomat ridiculed France’s position concerning Iranian nuclear activities, describing it as a “political masquerade” at a time that the IAEA and even the Americans confirm the pacific intentions of Tehran, regretting that Paris if running “faster than the United States”.
Tehran also lashed out at French plans to set up a military base in the United Arab Emirates, saying it would only cause instability in the Gulf region.
"We are against military expansion in the region and we think the presence of foreign forces will not contribute to stability but on the contrary, will be a factor of insecurity and instability", Mohammad Ali Hosseyni, the official Spokesman told reporters during his weekly press briefing.
The creation of a permanent military base by France in the UAE was announced last month at the end of the official visit of France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy to the Persian Gulf Emirate. The base, both naval and air force, is to become operational in 2009.
Since came to power, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy has become a champion of anti Iranian nuclear crusade
Ever since Mr. Sarkozy came to power in Paris, he quickly moved changing France’s traditional pro-Arab Middle Eastern policy into one of strongest supporters of Israel in the one hand and joining the United States in the West’s “crusade” preventing the Islamic Republic acquiring nuclear weapon, one which Tehran insists is not on its agenda.
Noting the importance of the Jewish vote in French elections, Iranian political observers say same as Mr.Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israeli diatribes are mainly for domestic consumption; France’s unprecedented pro-Israeli position is aimed at helping the ruling conservatives in the coming city council elections in the one hand and boosting Mr. Sarkozy’s falling popularity on the other. IRAN FRANCE 4208