Iran Sulks, Blames France
Iranians are in a very bad mood following the failure of talks with the P5+1 powers to achieve an agreement on its nuclear program, reports Maariv.
Symbolically, notes the newspaper's David Shain, a heavy cloud of smog settled on the city of Tehran Monday, prompting authorities to shut down schools and government offices for three days. The political atmosphere is similarly foggy.
For three days at last week's end, the public atmosphere in the Islamic Republic was euphoric, as reports from Geneva indicated that the lifting of economic sanctions was near. Stocks rose and the Iranian currency gained value against the dollar.
Media provided round-the-clock reporting from Geneva and optimism peaked – but hopes were dashed late Saturday night and the newspapers' headlines had to be changed at the last moment, from positive reports on a deal that had been struck, to angry ones targeting France.
Iranian newspaper Tabanak's headline read: “Israel's Hand Emerges from the French Sleeve – A French Conspiracy at the Last Supper.” Atalat's headline was: “France Threw Rocks on the Road of Negotiations; French Foreign Minister's Actions Cloud Atmosphere at Talks.” Another paper, Jam Vajam, wrote: “A French Trick Succeeded in Postponing the Agreement.”
That, after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius publicly voiced his opposition to a proposed deal, which had already been blasted by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as "a very bad deal" for everyone but the Islamic Republic.
Jawad Karimi, a member of Iran's parliament – the Majlis – accused France of playing the part of the “bad boy” in the service of the US, which did not really want an agreement with Iran. A foreign policy advisor to the Majlis claimed Arab states had bribed Iran to sabotage the talks.
While sounding a defiant tone, Iranians are aware of the fact that the ten days remaining until the next round of talks could see new sanctions legislated by the US Congress. Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif hinted that in such a case, Iran would toughen its positions.