France Rattles Its Nuclear Sabre

While this article from Reuters is titled "France to cut nuclear arsenal", what I found most interesting was the clear indication from President Sarkozy that France identifies Iran as a threat and will explicitly maintain the nuclear capability needed to defend itself from that threat.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced cuts in France's atomic arsenal on Friday but vowed to keep a strong enough deterrent against threats such as the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran.

... Sarkozy said his nation had to face new security threats, including Iran, and needed to be able to strike back forcefully if attacked.

I find this candor refreshing, and I'm glad to hear of a European nation identifying the threat Iran poses, and at the very least stating that it will defend itself.
Iran denies the charges [of developing nuclear weapons], saying it only wants to make electricity. It also continues to expand its long-range missile program, and says it can hit targets 2,000 km (1,250 miles) away, heightening concern in the West.

"Maintaining the competences necessary to dissuasion at the highest level is a fundamental objective for our security," he said. "All those who threaten to attack our vital interests would expose themselves to a severe riposte by France."
I have next to zero optimism that this is the beginning of a rationally self-interested foreign policy from France, but I can certainly credit them for openly identifying the threat of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hopefully our next US president will do the same.


Jenn Casey said...

Hopefully our next US president will do the same.

Second that! Would be nice, wouldn't it?

C. August said...

Yeah. I'm not going to hold my breath. The more I think about it, the more I think Scott Powell was right when he said that it's likely it will be up to Israel to take the first step.