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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nicolas Sarkozy Says Obama's Position On Iran Is 'Utterly Immature'

[Update below from the French Embassy's communiqué regarding the remarks attributed by the newspaper Haaretz to the President of the French Republic concerning Senator Obama's stance on Iran.]

I think many of us said quite the same thing as it is being reported Nicolas Sarkozy is saying about Barack Obama's stance on Iran.

During the Democratic primaries, a YouTube questioner asked the Democratic candidates a question, I am putting the video of that question and the answer below so people can see for themselves exactly what Barack Obama said, despite his trying to "qualify" his statement later when he received criticism for his original answer.

YouTube URL for video above, here.


QUESTION: In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since.

In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

COOPER: I should also point out that Stephen is in the crowd tonight.

Senator Obama?

OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous.


Now, Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.

And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them. We’ve been talking about Iraq -- one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they’re going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses.

It does bear mentioning that according to the transcript of that debate, directly after Obama made that statement, Hillary Clinton was asked the same question and her answer was much more realistic. Page 14, found here, you can see Hillary's answer.

Which brings us to today's report, in which sources tell Haaretz that Nicolas Sarkozy, in closed forums in France, has stated that Barack Obama's stance regarding Iran is "utterly immature" and comprised of "formulations empty of all content."

Obama visited Paris in July, and the Iranian issue was at the heart of his meeting with Sarkozy. At a joint press conference afterward, Obama urged Iran to accept the West's proposal on its nuclear program, saying that Iran was creating a serious situation that endangered both Israel and the West.

According to the reports reaching Israel, Sarkozy told Obama at that meeting that if the new American president elected in November changed his country's policy toward Iran, that would be "very problematic."

Until now, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have tried to maintain a united front on Iran. But according to the senior Israeli source, Sarkozy fears that Obama might "arrogantly" ignore the other members of this front and open a direct dialogue with Iran without preconditions.

Following their July meeting, Sarkozy repeatedly expressed disappointment with Obama's positions on Iran, concluding that they were "not crystallized, and therefore many issues remain open," the Israeli source said. Advisors to the French president who held separate meetings with Obama's advisors came away with similar impressions and expressed similar disappointment.

Obama speaks well, there is no doubt about it, he gives good speeches, admitted.

Whether those speeches actually represent reality is another thing and one his supporters do not seem to ask themselves at all.

Sarkozy uses words like "arrogant” and “unilateral” when speaking about Obama and that is exactly right. Obama is like a child that can see no further than what he wants, what he thinks the world should be like rather than seeing what the world, especially our enemies are like.

America's allies understand this and it shows an incredible contrast when you see someone who is one of our most staunch allies, like France's President Sarkozy, making statements like that, Israel showing preference for McCain, while those not our allies, such as the Syrian regime and Lebanese Hezbollah to name just two, overwhelmingly want Obama to win this election.

The contrast there should make people stop and look closely at the reasoning.

Via email from the French Embassy to WUA:

The remarks attributed by the newspaper Haaretz to the President of the French Republic concerning Senator Obama's positions on Iran are groundless. To the contrary, the in-depth discussions between the President of the Republic and Senator Obama on Iran during their meeting in Paris in July demonstrated a broad convergence of views on this issue. President Sarkozy and Senator Obama agree to oppose Iran's development of a military nuclear capability.

(Disclaimer- As of yet I have not received confirmation that the email was legitimately from the French Embassy but felt it important to show the denial anyway until I do receive a reply)