Daily Israel Report

Republicans Hail France for Tough Stance on Iran

"Vive la France!" tweets Senator McCain after France prevents a bad deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/11/2013, 4:13 AM

McCain and Graham in Israel (archive)
McCain and Graham in Israel (archive)
Flash 90

France was hailed on Sunday by Republican lawmakers in the United States for its firm stance on Iran during the negotiations in Geneva.

"Vive la France!" tweeted senator John McCain, an outspoken voice on national security issues, according to AFP.

"France had the courage to prevent a bad nuclear agreement with Iran," he said, after the weekend announcement that no agreement had been reached between the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, known as the P5+1.

Reports on Saturday indicated that during three days of intense negotiations in Geneva, it was French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who prevented a deal when he repeatedly voiced concerns over various points in a possible deal and its lack of guarantees.

"Thank God for France and thank God for push back," said Senator Lindsey Graham on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

"The French are becoming very good leaders in the Mid East," Graham said, also suggesting he would be in favor of more sanctions against Iran.

"My fear is that we're going to wind up creating a North Korea-type situation in the Mideast, where we negotiate with Iran and one day you wake up... and you're going to have a nuclear Iran," Graham said.

Another leading voice in Congress, Bob Corker, top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told U.S. television that Washington is "dealing away our leverage" in the talks.    

"Iran is still going to be enriching uranium, based on what we see," Senator Bob Corker told NBC.    

"So when they say freeze, that means they're not going to be gaining - but they're still going to be enriching, so there are a lot of concerns," he said.    

"All of us want to see diplomacy... but we're also concerned about an administration that seems really ready always to jump into the arms of folks, and potentially deal away some of the leverage we have," Corker said.    

Earlier Sunday, a report by Iranian state media cited President Hassan Rouhani as reiterating his regime's commitment to continuing enriching uranium under the terms of any deal, describing the issue as Iran's "red line".

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that the United States is "not blind, and I don't think we're stupid" in nuclear talks with Iran.

"I think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe, and particularly of our allies like Israel and Gulf states and others in the region,” said Kerry.