October 18, 2003

France Warns Against Iran Action

If we are not successful in ejecting the _resident in
2004, the entire fabric of international law (i.e.,
the UN Security Council, the World Court, NATO, the
G-8, the WTO, etc.) which, as fragile and as
ineffectual as it is, has been all we have to build on
and work with). Wesley Clark (D-NATO) understands
this. We are being dragged down the slippery slope
into a regional war, and further on, a World War, by
the Bush cabal's neo-con wet dreamers. The _resident
is in Tokyo telling the Japanese Prime Minister that
the UN is "old" and needs to be "restructured." There
is no alternative to the political destruction of
George Bush. He must be defeated in the 2004 election.


http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1018-04.htm

Published on Saturday, October 18, 2003 by the
Guardian/UK
France Warns Against Iran Action
Military Intervention Would Be Ridiculous, Says
Foreign Minister, Denouncing Policy of Forcible Regime
Change

by Simon Tisdall and Ewen MacAskill

The US pursuit of forcible regime change is not a
viable or safe policy in the dangerous world that
exists after September 11, the French foreign
minister, Dominique de Villepin, said in an interview
with the Guardian.

Regime change can not be a policy on its own in
today's world. You have to be respectful of
sovereignty.

Dominique de Villepin
French Foreign Minister
In a wide-ranging critique of US policy in the Middle
East and beyond, Mr De Villepin said that any military
action against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons
would be "absolutely ridiculous".

He also said that, in spite of Thursday's UN security
council resolution giving the US-British force in Iraq
a mandate, "the conditions for real progress on the
reconstruction of Iraq are not complied with today".

"Reconstruction has to have a partner, you have to
have real sovereignty in Iraq if you want to have the
Iraqi people working with you."

Mr De Villepin declined to commit France to providing
reconstruction assistance at next week's donors'
conference in Madrid, in spite of urgings to do so
from Washington.

While emphasizing France's desire to patch up
relations with the US and to work with it on a range
of international issues, the foreign minister also
questioned Israel's US-backed security policies. He
said Europe should play a vital role in advancing the
peace process, not least because of Europe's close
trade and aid links with both sides.

"I think that Israeli policy during the past months
and years shows clearly that if you are going to
imagine that only through security you are going to
find solutions, you are mistaken...

"We think that using force, on the contrary, is going
to... give new reasons to some people [like al-Qaida]
to oppose us."

Mr De Villepin sketched out a French vision of a
radically different approach to foreign policy in
which differences of culture, society and religion
should be weighed alongside questions of security.

"Regime change can not be a policy on its own in
today's world," he said. "You have to be respectful of
sovereignty.

"Of course, there are very difficult situations when
human rights are concerned... we have known that in
Kosovo. So in rare situations, we have to address
these kinds of problems by military means. But you
have to have the support of the international
community... If there is one country that imagines it
can solve this matter alone, we are going to see more
vengeance, more difficulties, more problems, and the
world is going to be more unstable."

Mr De Villepin's remarks underline the continuing
differences between France, which led European
opposition to the Iraq war, and Washington and London.


During a brief visit to London this week, Mr De
Villepin had lunch with the foreign secretary, Jack
Straw, and recorded the prestigious Dimbleby Lecture,
which will be screened tomorrow on BBC1.

After his visit, it was announced that Mr De Villepin
and Mr Straw and the German foreign minister, Joschka
Fischer, are to visit Tehran on Monday to try to
defuse the nuclear arms row. To the annoyance of the
Bush administration, Britain, France and Germany have
offered to supply civilian nuclear technology to Iran
in return for its abandoning any ambition to seek
nuclear weapons capability.

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

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Posted by richard at October 18, 2003 09:26 PM