From the Jerusalem Post comes an article, which gives us all a strong indication of just how serious he considers Iran's program to be:
French President Nicholas Sarkozy called Wednesday for sanctions on Iran to be tightened if the country does not adhere to the West's demands to cease its nuclear agenda.
If Iran attains nuclear weapons, Sarkozy warned, a road to an arms race will be paved that could endanger Israel and southeast Europe, he said during an interview with a German magazine.
Now, contrast that with the flip-flopping, waffling, and downright obstinate nature of the former French leader and you'll see just why I was so hard on past French policy. From the IHT comes this article which demonstrates clearly, just how utterly incompetent Chirac really was in the world arena:
President Jacques Chirac said in an interview that an Iran that possessed one or two nuclear weapons would not pose much of a danger, adding that if Iran were ever to launch a nuclear weapon against a country like Israel, it would lead to the immediate destruction of Tehran.
What M. Chirac failed to understand is quite simple, if you put in terms of how to best deal with a child. If you send mixed signals to a child, you risk having no consistency and therefore, setting clear-cut boundaries will be next to impossible to enforce.
Later, from the same article we see what I mean here:
Chirac said repeatedly during the second interview that he had spoken casually and quickly the day before because he had believed he was talking about Iran off the record. Finally, he admitted that he had made a mistake. "It is I who was wrong and I do not want to contest it," he said. "I should have paid better attention to what I was saying and understood that perhaps I was on the record."
Even later in the same article:
Chirac explained that it would be an act of self-destruction for Iran to use a nuclear weapon against another country. "Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel?" Chirac asked. "It would not have gone off 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed to the ground."
When quizzed further about this last remark here's what he had to say:
In the second interview, Chirac retracted his comment that Tehran would be destroyed if Iran launched a nuclear weapon. "I take it back of course when I said, 'One is going to raze Tehran,'" he said. "It was of course a manner of speaking."
Are you dizzy yet? I know I am.
Thankfully, we now know where the French leadership stands on this issue. I know I couldn't take much more of the Chirac Open Tennis Tournament, without risking serious damage to my neck muscles.