The key "concern" expressed by Israel-firster French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to derail an interim deal was about the Arak heavy-water reactor.
An EU diplomat (non-French) confirmed to Asia Times Online that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had already informed US Secretary of State John Kerry about these euphemistically defined "confidence-building measures." Kerry was fully aware before he landed in Geneva on his way to sign an interim deal.
But guess what: the French were clueless. Kerry did not tell anybody else on the P5+1 table (comprising the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) because he feared any leaks. This proves once again that this infinitely complex negotiation is really between Washington and Tehran. Russia and China are behaving -- so far -- as sort of quiet (and wary) observers. Yet Kerry, Francophile that he is, should have know better about Gallic peacock instincts.
Fabius -- acting on orders of "popular" (26% and sinking) President Francois Hollande -- started to pre-emptively torpedo the negotiations even before Kerry landed in Geneva. Arak was the perfect pretext to shade France's true agenda; to act as an agent of Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and to secure future fat contracts from those paragons of democracy, the Wahhabi-dominated Gulf Counter-revolution Club, aka the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
So Fabius was not only totally clueless about privileged Kerry-Zarif information; he felt like a spurned lover (Moliere to the rescue).
Make no mistake. Kerry -- following President Barack Obama's brief -- badly wants a deal. But as this is a P5+1 affair, he simply cannot out the French as spoilers. Thus the subsequent tactic earlier this week of "blaming" Iran -- as in "they were not ready for a deal yet."
The whole saga restarts next Wednesday. There is no question Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif made sure the IAEA would be able to attest, from inside Iran, that goodwill is still the name of the game. This is how they controlled their own opposition -- the hard line Revolutionary Guards.
Heavy water Arak is not the problem. Heavy Gallic posturing is. Let's see whether the Fabius reactor will leak again next week, or whether Kerry will be able to contain it.
1. IAEA: Iran has not expanded nuclear facilities in last 3 months, RT, November 14, 2013.