On Friday morning, the Atlantic Wire brought the early reactions to the news that Iran had admitted to operating secret uranium enrichment facilities. Throughout the day, American media outlets published reaction. So what is the international media making of the latest Iran development? While it's still early, we've scoured the web to find reaction from France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
- Thank God for France, Says France "This time," writes Corine Lesnes in a blog for Le Monde, "the French are involved. That's significant." How so? Americans tried convincing the world of a nuclear threat once before, and even under Obama they suffer from a lack of credibility. This is what made the French-British-American collaboration so important.
According to French and American sources, the services amassed their observations then waited to have a bundle of concurring information showing clearly that the intention was military.
- Looking Better Than it Might Have "The good news," says Pierre Rousselin of Le Figaro, "is that there is a strategy. Maybe..." Between now and December, he thinks, when sanctions will be adopted,
it's a question of laying the groundwork for reinforcing the unity of the international community. After the U.S.'s abandonment of the antimissile shield in Eastern Europe, Russia has been more cooperative. President Medvedev called for Tehran to cooperate ... with the AIEA ... Progress is slow but it's there.
- Double Standard Redaktion of Schweiz Magazin, a Swiss publication, thinks the American-European reaction to the news "once more ... reveal[s]" these countries' "double standard." Obama, Brown, and Merkel, Redaktion notes, "didn't find Israel's secret nuclear weapons 'shocking,' ... did not demand IAEO inspections for Israel ... and [are] not a bit worried about Israeli nuclear missiles."
- Time for Action, declares the Guardian's Simon Tisdall. "Like riverboat gamblers casting loaded dice, Iran's leaders have played a double game of deceit, duplicity, and Persian blind man's bluff." British "diplomats have been saying privately for months," based on internal intelligence, Tisdall now recognizes, "that bigger sticks would be needed this autumn ... France and Germany can now be expected to stiffen their resolve too." And Russia's "new-found readiness" to play tough is both a result of broken faith and of better relations with the U.S.
All those who were writing off Barack Obama last week as a foreign policy lightweight may now reflect at leisure on how he has achieved two major objectives in almost as many days: Russia is back on side, for now at least, thanks to his decision to re-model European missile defence. And China is now isolated in the security council in opposing new sanctions on Iran--a position it always tries to avoid on any major issue, and which it may now find untenable.With Iran weakened by these recent revelations, Tisdall concludes, Obama may in fact be able to force serious negotiations.