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France: Iran's New 'Le Grand Satan'

Iranian media blamed France for blocking a deal to lift sanctions Sunday, as conservatives in Israel and the U.S. praised their unlikely ally.
Posted at 7:53 PM, Nov 10, 2013

There's a hardline foreign policy holding up international talks with Iran. But it's not coming from the U.S. or from Israel.

"Hopes were high for a deal until concerns were raised by France about whether they could trust Iran." (Via CBS)

"It looked like there might be a breakthrough, but France said it's not going to play a fool's game." (Via Fox News)

"France's hardline position has allowed the U.S. to look reasonable." (Via CNN)

Yes, France has been the nation blocking a temporary suspension of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lowered economic sanctions on the country. Its concern is that the deal lets Iran off too easy. (Via The Guardian)

France is one of six nations, including the U.S., the U.K. and Russia, meeting in Geneva with Iran about its nuclear program. And while the U.S. delegation, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, has been unusually open to dealmaking with Iran, France has pushed on the brakes, insisting the nation fully abandon its nuclear program. (Via BBC, Sky News)

The frustration from Iran has been clear. A group of Iranian businessmen met in Tehran Sunday to discuss reducing trade with France over its actions at Geneva. (Via The Financial Times)

Iran's citizens have floundered under economic sanctions for about a decade now, with inflation through the roof. These negotiations are Iran's best chance yet to lift those sanctions.

Iran's relatively moderate new president, Hassan Rouhani, was even elected on a platform of improving relations with the West and reviving international trade. (Via Al Jazeera)

But Israel and some of its more hawkish allies in the U.S. are pretty happy with France. They don't want the deal that's been talked about in Geneva.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: "Iran gives practically nothing, and it gets a hell of a lot. That's not a good deal."

LINDSEY GRAHAM: "Thank God for France, and thank God for pushback."

CANDY CROWLEY: "There are words you haven't heard recently: 'Thank God for France.'" (Via CNN)

Although no deal was reached over the past few days, another round of talks will begin Nov. 20.