Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Nuance of Jacques

French president Jacques Chirac let the truth slip out in an interview on Monday;
he’s OK with Iran having one or two nuclear weapons. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

PARIS, Jan. 31 — President Jacques Chirac said this week that if Iran had one or two nuclear weapons, it would not pose a big danger, and that if Iran were to launch a nuclear weapon against a country like Israel, it would lead to the immediate destruction of Tehran.
The remarks, made in an interview on Monday with The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and Le Nouvel Observateur, a weekly magazine, were vastly different from stated French policy and what Mr. Chirac has often said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Chirac summoned the same journalists back to Élysée Palace to retract many of his remarks. Mr. Chirac said repeatedly during the second interview that he had spoken casually and quickly the day before because he believed he had been talking about Iran off the record.
“I should rather have paid attention to what I was saying and understood that perhaps I was on the record,” he said. ...
On Monday, Mr. Chirac began by describing as “very dangerous” Iran’s refusal to stop producing enriched uranium, which can be used to produce electricity or to make nuclear weapons. Then he made his remarks about a nuclear-armed Iran.
“I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb,” he said. “Having one or perhaps a second bomb a little later, well, that’s not very dangerous.
“But what is very dangerous is proliferation. This means that if Iran continues in the direction it has taken and totally masters nuclear-generated electricity, the danger does not lie in the bomb it will have, and which will be of no use to it.”
Mr. Chirac said 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?” Mr. Chirac asked.
“It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed.”

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