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French Embassy Denies Sarkozy Critical of Obama Views on Iran

By Glenn Kessler
The French embassy in Washington today quickly denied a report in Haaretz, a respected Israeli newspaper, that French president Nicolas Sarkozy was critical of Barack Obama's positions on Iran, believing them to be "utterly immature."

The Haaretz report was thinly sourced, attributed to "reports that have reached Israel's government," but that did not stop the McCain campaign from capitalizing on the excitement generated by the report. The campaign re-released any ad titled "Tiny," focusing on comments Obama made comparing Iran to the Soviet Union, to make the case that the Democrat is "dangerously unprepared" for the presidency.

According to Haaretz, Sarkozy told Obama when they met in July that it would be a problem if Obama changed U.S. policy and began direct talks with Iran without any preconditions. The newspaper said the French president feared that Obama might ignore other members of a six-nation coalition that has sought to pressure Iran to halt its uranium-enrichment program by demanding that it suspend enrichment before any substantive talks could begin on a package of economic and diplomatic incentives. The other nations in the coalition are France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.

If Sarkozy has this concern, it would not be unique among European officials. The Washington Post reported in June that top European officials were worried about this aspect of Obama's policy toward Iran.

The French embassy statement chose not to address this aspect of the Haaretz story but instead issued a broad denial: "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."

The McCain campaign did not respond to a call for comment.

Posted at 5:33 PM ET on Oct 28, 2008  | Category:  Barack Obama
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I believe Israel is on it's own!

-------------------------------------------

While I don't believe that's the case, what would be so wrong (ESPECIALLY for the US) if we gave them a chance to be big boys with the big boy toys we've sold them? A common theme among MANY anti-American sentiments throughout the Middle East is our one-sided, apparently favoritive relationship with Israel. Israel has nukes, in the same way we did back in the Cold War. Why do you suppose Russia never used nukes on us? Because we would've nuked them right back. Nuclear weapons are like wearing a cod-piece; it's showing off. It's basically a way to say, "Don't eef* with me!"

Posted by: SteadyState | October 29, 2008 5:32 PM

Haaretz is no tabloid, it regards itself as the paper of record in Israel, and is very left wing. If you Google the name of the writer, Barak Ravid Haaretz, you get 85,000 items. This guy has a track record. Haaretz would not print this story on Sarkozy unless they had an impeachable sources in the government, and as I say, the right wing doesn't confide in them. If Haaretz were managing the news as they do in America according to political considerations, they would not have run a story embarrassing Obama. He's on their wavelength as far as the approach to the talks with the Palestinians go. But in Israel the news media remains much more true to professional principles than in America. The old dictum, print and be damned, still holds. Ravid came up with a hot story and they printed it.

Sarkozy feels that Obama is clueless when it comes to Iran, according to Israeli government sources. Not just "utterly immature" but his ideas are comprised of "formulations empty of all content." This is very scary for Israel because with its nukes and threats Iran represents an existential threat and we have to deal with it. Even before this story McCain's support runs upwards of 70 per cent among the general population and the joke is that most of the 30 per cent Obama supporters would be Haaretz readers.

Posted by: idov | October 29, 2008 2:27 AM

Haaretz is no tabloid, it regards itself as the paper of record in Israel, and is very left wing. If you Google the name of the writer, Barak Ravid Haaretz, you get 85,000 items. This guy has a track record. Haaretz would not print this story on Sarkozy unless they had an impeachable sources in the government, and as I say, the right wing doesn't confide in them. If Haaretz were managing the news as they do in America according to political considerations, they would not have run a story embarrassing Obama. He's on their wavelength as far as the approach to the talks with the Palestinians go. But in Israel the news media remains much more true to professional principles than in America. The old dictum, print and be damned, still holds. Ravid came up with a hot story and they printed it.

Sarkozy feels that Obama is clueless when it comes to Iran, according to Israeli government sources. Not just "utterly immature" but his ideas are comprised of "formulations empty of all content." This is very scary for Israel because with its nukes and threats Iran represents an existential threat and we have to deal with it. Even before this story McCain's support runs upwards of 70 per cent among the general population and the joke is that most of the 30 per cent Obama supporters would be Haaretz readers.

Posted by: idov | October 29, 2008 2:21 AM

No, everyone isn't voting for Obama, only those with sense a vision of American beyond Rush OxyContin Limblows vision of division and who are sick and tired with the Atwater/Rovian play books of lies, smears and distortions.

Palin-McCain: Out of touch, out of ideas and out of time.

Oh, did I mention those who are sick of the Socialist redistribute the wealth from those who have not to those who have everything neocon and right wingnut Ponzi economics?

Posted by: wes1155 | October 29, 2008 1:08 AM

Gee, Obama already won. No need to vote anymore. Everybody, Iranians, Catholics, Jews, Baptism, and Blacks are voting for him. I mean everybody is voting for him; however, those dam public polls still are falling down, falling down, falling down. What to do? Let’s redistribute some more wealth. Sen. Biden already came down to $150K income. Go Obama, Go Obama even lower.

Posted by: Wiel | October 28, 2008 10:54 PM

Gee, that's strange, because I happen to know quite a few Iranians out in LA and in Northern VA and they are all voting for Obama with one exception. Same for all of my Jewish friends and relatives. And oh yeah, most of the moderate Baptists I know including my mother and come to think of it, all of the Catholics I know. It must be a regional thing even though it encompasses many regions, east, west and in the middle.

Posted by: wes1155 | October 28, 2008 9:29 PM

Obama's admission that he's for redistribution of wealth has lead in these past few days instead to a redistribution of votes...down to 2% lead in Gallup traditional, 4% IBD, 5% Rasmusson and Zogby, and falling.

I personally know no Iranian American supporting Obama, and I know many.

Posted by: thecannula | October 28, 2008 8:54 PM

Wiel regurgitated:

Does it mean that the European love affair with Sen. Obama is over?...Blah, blah, blah...

You seem to be mistaking loathing for McCain as love for Obama. Are they hopeful about Obama? Yes, but that isn't because of "love" it is respect.

Besides, what do neocons and right wingnuts care what those commie, pinko, limp wrist Europeans have to say, especially those Socialist, Marxist b*st*rds the French. They haven't cared for decades, so why now?

Oh!!! Because they believe they can spin it to their advantage! Of course! Hope springs eternal as they say and without delusions the reality sucks.

Posted by: wes1155 | October 28, 2008 8:39 PM

Does it mean that the European love affair with Sen. Obama is over? If Europeans could see through Sen. Obama, there is no doubt that the American voters could do so as well. There is still one week to go. Let me see, Sen. Obama is a socialist, Marxist, tax raiser, wealth redistributor, high spender, and so on. Could Europeans be right?

Posted by: Wiel | October 28, 2008 7:50 PM

Who is the original source of all this? Michael Ledeen?

And isn't France supposed to be one of those commie/socialist countries? How is Obama pissing them off supposed to be a bad thing?

These GOP 'tards don't know whether they're coming or going.

Posted by: BillinChicago1 | October 28, 2008 7:43 PM

By the time Obama finishes with American foreign policy we will be hiding behind our borders as we were prior to WW2.

He will diminish our military to the extent that we will be in the same position we were prior to WW2.

It appears he intends on allocating our resources to his socialist economic policies and he will turn his nose on our allies around the world.

He will announce our new allies are Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicarauga and Ecuador.

I believe Israel is on it's own!

Posted by: mwhoke | October 28, 2008 6:30 PM

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Posted by: pastor123 | October 28, 2008 6:17 PM

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Posted by: pastor123 | October 28, 2008 6:17 PM

Ladies and Germs!


I give you your 2008 Republican Party!
.


"This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman (Palin) who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity."

.

Here's the rest of the mavericky straight-talk, my friends:
.
http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 28, 2008 5:51 PM

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