Nov 15, 2022, 11:30 AM
Mock Revolution; Enter Macron!

TEHRAN, Nov. 15 (MNA) – While all world leaders have cautiously have sought to make cautious remarks about the developments in Iran, French President Emanuel Macron got ahead of himself and called Iran’s unrest a “revolution.”

Macron made the “revolution” comment twice in a matter of three days, first after a meeting with a group of self-proclaimed leaders of the Iranian opposition and then in a radio interview.

On Friday, Macron met four Iranian women oppositionists and received a list of demands from them that included reductions of diplomatic relations with Iran and sanctions, among other things, according to AFP.

After the meeting, Macron made his crass “revolution” comment, saying that he conveyed his “respect and admiration in the context of the revolution they are leading.”

At first, this appeared to be a slip of the tongue, given the return of calm to Iranian streets. But a few days later, Macron indicated that his use of the word “revolution” was pretty much intentional. 

“Something unprecedented is happening,” Macron said in an interview, according to Reuters. “The grandchildren of the revolution are carrying out a revolution and are devouring it,” Macron said when asked to qualify what was taking place in Iran.

This Macron assessment would have not been peculiar if it had come from a leader with no embassy in Tehran. But France has full diplomatic relations with Iran and its embassy in Tehran is staffed with diplomats who watch the situation in their host country very closely. They must have seen how the unrest subsided.

Pundits believe that the French president may have fallen victim to fake news. Over the last few weeks, Iranian authorities have said that a huge amount of fake news has been produced on Iran, which portrayed the situation as critical as the last days of a genuine revolution. This, however, was not the case and the perceived revolution was a fake one.

Macron also made remarks about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which now is at a standstill.

Macron said he did not believe any new proposals could help revive the deal and that a new framework is likely to be needed to address the matter.

“This revolution changes many things,” Macron said. “I don't think there will be new proposals which can be made right now [to save the nuclear deal]”, he said.

Macron’s mixing of the unrest and the JCPOA talks is another strange issue.

But Macron’s remarks in this regard could endanger the long-running talks over the JCPOA. In addition, they could further undermine Macron’s status of being a mediator between Tehran and Washington. The French president has long sought to act as a courier between the two capitals in a bid to revive the JCPOA. But his revolutionary assessment of Iran’s unrest will likely undermine his mediatory role.
Relations between Tehran and Paris have already been tense. The spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kan'ani, has condemned the meeting between President Macron with one of the anti-Iran opposition figures and her companions, held on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum.

The ministry spokesperson added, “It is surprising that the president of a country claiming to support freedom, lowers his level and meets with a hated pawn who, in recent months, has clearly tried to spread hatred, violence, and terrorist acts in the Islamic Republic of Iran and also against its diplomatic missions as well as diplomats of the Islamic Republic abroad.”

Kan'ani also called the statements quoted from Macron that he supports the so-called revolution, led by these people, as regrettable and a cause for shame, according to a statement by the Iranian foreign ministry.

The spokesman strongly protested these statements.

Kan'ani added the meeting is a flagrant violation of France's international responsibilities in fighting terrorism and violence and is regarded as a promotion of these vicious phenomena.

The foreign ministry spokesman emphasized that such anti-Iran measures will undoubtedly be kept in the memory of the great Iranian nation, who are well aware of the selective approaches of some European leaders, going against human rights.

By Mehran Shamsuddin

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 193665

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