France Tempers Stance in Nod to Wider Needs

France Tempers Stance in Nod to Wider Needs
France Tempers Stance in Nod to Wider Needs

A year after France scuppered a deal on Iran's nuclear program it is taking a softer stance in current talks, encouraged by a more inclusive US approach and the knowledge that failure this year could have grim repercussions across the broader region, Reuters wrote in an article on Friday.

France, a UN Security Council veto-holder, has long held out for strict terms trading a lifting of international sanctions on Iran in return for commitments by Tehran to show its nuclear work will remain peaceful.

The discovery last year that the US was holding secret talks with the Iranians was an opportunity for France, by saying 'no' to a deal, to assert itself internationally.

It also helped Paris to cement new commercial ties with Persian Gulf Arab states.  

This time round, however, a failed agreement would have potentially dire consequences given Iran's important role among international powers trying to push the so-called Islamic State (IS) out of Iraq and Syria and stabilize other parts of the Middle East.  

That's something France's diplomats do not want to take responsibility for.

"Affirming oneself on the international scene when there is something so important at stake for the region and international relations is inappropriate," said Didier Billion, deputy director at Paris-based think tank IRIS.

"I don't think it will happen again. I think there is an effort by the French to try and make themselves look a little better with the Iranians. We will be less narrow-minded."