France Pledges Its Support of Israel on Iran Nuclear Deal

Netanyahu Continues on Campaign To Sway World Powers

New Partnership: French president Francois Hollande and Benjamin Netanyahu stand together on continued economic sanctions of Iran.
getty images
New Partnership: French president Francois Hollande and Benjamin Netanyahu stand together on continued economic sanctions of Iran.

By Reuters

Published November 17, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

President Francois Hollande assured Israel on Sunday that France would continue to oppose an easing of economic sanctions against Iran until it was convinced Tehran had ended a pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Hollande’s pledge could help underpin an intensive campaign by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convince Israel’s main ally, the United States, and other leading powers to toughen terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran ahead of negotiations reconvening this week in Geneva.

Differences over how to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons have opened a rift between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, whose relationship has long been fraught. France has taken a tough line with Iran, helping Paris forge closer ties with Tehran’s foes in Israel and the Gulf.

“France will not give way on nuclear proliferation,” Hollande said at a welcoming ceremony at Tel Aviv airport. “So long as we are not certain that Iran has renounced nuclear arms, we will keep in place all our demands and sanctions.”

After Hollande’s three-day state visit, Netanyahu is due to travel to Moscow on Wednesday to see Russian President Vladimir Putin and return to Israel to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday - by which point U.S. and Russian officials have said a preliminary deal with Iran may have be struck.

Netanyahu has condemned a proposal, to be discussed by Iran in talks starting on Wednesday with six powers - France, China, Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States - to ease sanctions if it suspends some nuclear activities.

“I hope that we will be able to persuade our friends during this week and in the days that follow to get a much better agreement,” Netanyahu told his cabinet.

Netanyahu says tough Western measures must not only remain in place but be strengthened until Iran dismantles its entire uranium enrichment programme, arguing that anything less would enable it to develop nuclear bombs.

Netanyahu, who has warned that Israel is willing to attack to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability, has won no support for his demand from Obama, who faces possible moves in Congress to ratchet up sanctions.

The Israeli leader rejected Obama’s contention that any loosening of sanctions in an interim agreement could be reversed if Iran failed to abide by its terms.

“In practice, that may be the president’s desire and intention … but I already see the countries and the investors and the companies scrambling to get to Iran,” Netanyahu told CNN, saying an easing of sanctions now would bring lasting new investment and trade to Iran.

“Increase the sanctions,” he urged. “In fact, if you do a bad deal, you may get to the point where your only option is a military option.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.