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Chirac: US Emissions Bad, Iran Nukes OK

From the New York Times owned International Herald Tribune:

Chirac muses on Iran, and then retreats

By Elaine Sciolino and Katrin Bennhold
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

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.

The remarks, made in an interview Monday with the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, were vastly different from stated French policy and from what Chirac repeatedly has said.

So in a remarkable turnaround, Chirac summoned the journalists involved to the Élysée Palace again Tuesday to retract many of the things he had said…

On Monday, 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 mastering nuclear-generated electricity, the danger does not lie in the bomb it will have, and which will be of no use to it."

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." ..

Further confusing the issue, on Monday evening, the Élysée prepared a heavily edited 19-page transcript of the interview that did not include Chirac’s assessment of a nuclear-armed Iran or his prediction of what would happen if it ever tried to use it.

Instead, the transcript added a line that Chirac had not said; it read, "I do not see what type of scenario could justify Iran’s recourse to an atomic bomb."

The attempt by the Élysée to change the president’s remarks in a formal text is not unusual. It is a long-held tradition in French journalism for interview subjects, from the president to business and cultural figures, to be given the opportunity to edit the texts of question-and- answer interviews before publication…

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."

He added that any number of third countries would stop an Iranian bomb from ever reaching its target.

"It is obvious that this bomb, at the moment it was launched, obviously would be destroyed immediately," Chirac said. "We have the means, several countries have the means to destroy a bomb."

Chirac also retracted his prediction that a nuclear Iran could lead Saudi Arabia and Egypt to follow suit.

"I drifted — because I thought we were off the record — to say that, for example, Saudi Arabia or Egypt could be tempted to follow this example," he said. "I retract it, of course, since neither Saudi Arabia nor Egypt has made any declaration on these subjects, so it is not up to me to make them."

Chirac’s initial comments contradicted long-held official French policy, which holds that Iran must not go nuclear. The thinking is that a nuclear- armed Iran would give Iran the ability to project power throughout the region, threaten its neighbors and encourage other regional players to seek the bomb…

Le whoops.

"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."

Chirac undoubtedly meant to say "praise" instead of "raze."

And please note that Mr. Chirac did not retracthis remarks that it wouldn’t be so dangerous for Iran to have one or two nuclear weapons.

But nobody seems to have even noticed that.

Meanwhile, in this very same interview Chirac blasted the US for its dangerous carbon emissions.

From the Associated Press:

Report: Chirac Eyes Carbon Tax for U.S.

February 01, 2007

PARIS (AP) – The United States could face possible European carbon taxes on its exports if it does not sign global climate accords, French President Jacques Chirac was quoted as saying in an interview published Thursday.

“A carbon tax is inevitable,” Chirac reportedly said in the interview with the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and French weekly Nouvel Observateur.

Chirac urged the United States to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls for steep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions believed to worsen global warming, the publications said.

France has pushed in the past for a carbon tax on industrial goods from countries that refuse to sign the Kyoto accord, meant mainly to target the United States and China. Some lawyers say it would violate international trade rules…

You see, carbon emissions are a much bigger threat than one or two nuclear weapons in the hands of a madman who has vowed to wipe out his neighbor Israel.

Quelle brilliant!

Please get back to us when you’ve got your own gaseous emissions under control, Monsieur Chirac.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 1st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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