Isn’t France “America’s favorite–and sometimes only–shooting buddy” as Yochi Dreasen observed last August? Then why the diplomatic friction of late? (And even French Travel Advisories are causing a problem.) Details on why the French objected to several loopholes within the US-led negotiations with Iran in Geneva are highlighted here:
Their concerns focused on three areas: The heavy-water plant at Arak that the Iranians are building, where the outline agreement seemed to allow continued construction; language that appeared to concede prematurely an Iranian “right to enrich” or something close to it; and what measures exactly Iran would take to dispose of its stockpile of 20 percent-enriched uranium. Much of the Geneva meeting focused on the French determination to close these loopholes — only for the changes to prove unacceptable to Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, and his team.
Keep in mind the larger context–that just a few years ago the tables were turned:
French-American relations, often a study in how close love can be to hatred, have taken an interesting turn of late. The cheese-eating surrender monkeys of France, in the phrase from “The Simpsons,” have become the world’s meat-chomping enforcement tigers. As for the United States, it has, in the French view, gone a touch camembert-soft.
And as Phillip Carter notes, the US tends to foot the bill for French and NATO lack of investment in global force projection–as seen most recently in the French peradventures in Mali.