French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that France should prepare for war if Iran gets nuclear weapons.
That was yesterday.
Today, it looks like I'm not the only one to be surprised, almost shocked, by a French official saying something like that.
Mohammad Ali Hosseini, of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said that Bernard Kouchner's remarks were "crisis-making" and "against France's high historical and cultural position," according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
For once, I find myself agreeing with an Iranian official. Partly, anyway. This certainly isn't the "high historical and cultural position" France has claimed.
Faced with religious fanatics armed with nuclear weapons, I would have assumed that the French position would be to engage the fanatics in meaningful dialog, and blame America for annoying them.
Mohammad Ali Hosseini isn't the only voice criticising the French official. Mohamed ElBaradei, the International Atomic Energy Agency head, said,
- "I would not talk about any use of force"
- That force should only be considered as a last resort ...
- And only if authorized by the UN Security Council.
"We need to be cool," he said. "We need not to hype the issue."
The first two barrages of Security Council sanctions have failed to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program.
Negotiations have failed to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program.
Who knows? Maybe more Security Council resolutions and more negotiations will work.
It's certainly worth a try.
But, I wouldn't call the statement of an infidel nation's official that war was possible, if Iran gets nuclear weapons, hype.
I'd call it remarkably clear insight.