Top French diplomatic official Jacques Audibert, senior diplomatic adviser to President Francois Hollande and leader of he French diplomatic team in the discussions with Iran and the P5+1 group believes that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is being a bit too apocalyptic in his warnings about a congressional rejection of the Iran nuclear deal.
Secretary Of State J0hn Kerry believes a congressional rejection of the P5+1 deal will bring about a disaster of almost biblical proportions. We’re talking fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
Perhaps not that bad, but he believes that Iran won’t negotiate further, no one will respect the U.S. enough to negotiate with them any longer, and the only way left to stop Iran’s nuclear program will be war.
“If Congress rejects this, Iran goes back to its enrichment. The Ayatollah will not come back to the table … the sanctions regime completely falls apart,” he said.
“We will have set ourselves back. I don’t know how I go out to another country if that happens and say: ‘Hey, you ought to negotiate with us,’ because they will say: ‘Well, you have 535 secretaries of state in the United States. We don’t know who we are negotiating with. Whatever deal we make always risks being overturned.’”
(…) we will have squandered the best chance we have to solve the problem through peaceful means.
Jacques Audibert disagrees.
Earlier this month, he met with Democrat Loretta Sanchez and Republican Mike Turner, both top members of the House Armed Services Committee, to discuss the Iran deal. The U.S. ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, was also in the room.
According to both lawmakers, Audibert expressed support for the deal overall, but also directly disputed Kerry’s claim that a Congressional rejection of the Iran deal would result in the worst of all worlds, the collapse of sanctions and Iran racing to the bomb without restrictions.
“He basically said, if Congress votes this down, there will be some saber-rattling and some chaos for a year or two, but in the end nothing will change and Iran will come back to the table to negotiate again and that would be to our advantage,” Sanchez told me in an interview. “He thought if the Congress voted it down, that we could get a better deal.”
Upon hearing the report of Jacques Audibert’s comments the French embassy was not pleased.
The Embassy of France formally denies the remarks attributed to Jacques Audibert in this article https://t.co/fY0Tno74uT #Iran
— French Embassy U.S. (@franceintheus) July 30, 2015
But to be sure, it is doubtful that Rep Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Rep .Mike Turner (R-OH) were making the story up. On the other hand it is also true that Audibert’s comments were not the official position of the French govt. But Audibert knows what he is talking about as he did lead the French negotiation team in the P5+1 talks.
John Kerry said that there is no chance of getting a better deal with Iran.
“The alternative to the deal we’ve reached isn’t what we’re seeing ads for on TV, it isn’t a better deal, some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation. That’s a fantasy, plain and simple.”
But there is at least one other person involved in the P5+1 talks who believes unicorns and a better deal