De Villepin: The world is facing a serious threat of nuclear weapons proliferation

De Villepin : « Une crise de prolifération nucléaire majeure guette le monde »

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France’s former Prime Minister is worried that Donald Trump’s refusal to certify the Iran deal signed in 2015 will lay the foundation for a “serious” threat to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world.

“Donald Trump’s refusal to certify the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and to transfer the decision to Congress will almost surely have serious consequences for world order”. In an interview at the 15th Rhodes Forum held on Friday and Saturday by the Berlin think tank Dialogue of Civilizations and presided over by Russian citizen Vladimir Yakunin, the former Prime Minister of France (under President Jacques Chirac), Dominique de Villepin, asserted that this refusal would “lead to completely opposite results in North Korea”. The statement was made at the time when the US president decided to not certify the Iran deal, thus leaving the decision to Congress. Congress will need to pass a bill within 60 days after Oct. 15. If it also refuses, US sanctions will again be imposed against Iran.

Return to the Axis of Evil
The former Prime Minister, who used the UN platform to staunchly express France’s disagreement with the 2003 US military intervention in Iraq, believes there is a risk that Iran will be brought back into the so-called Axis of Evil, as termed by George Bush (Iran, North Korea and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq). “It is impossible to come to an agreement with North Korea, asking that it fulfil the demands of the international community regarding proliferation, and at the same time completely solve this problem when Iran, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, is fulfilling the demands of the international community.” The decision will be linked with the beginning of “two rounds of negotiations” on the strategy for expanding the role of Iran in the Near East and its policies for deploying ballistic missiles.

The Threat of Nuclear War
Dominique de Villepin, when he was France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, initiated the negotiations with Iran in 2003 along with this counterparts, the German Joschka Fischer and Brit Jack Straw. These negotiations finally concluded after 12 years. On 14 June 2015, the agreement between Tehran and the G5 + 1 was signed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, China, UK and France) and Germany. It seems quite clear that walking away from this agreement could provoke “a crisis of rapid proliferation of nuclear weapons, threatening to throw the world into a condition of war or even nuclear war. We are facing the same situation in North Korea.”

Confirming the supremacy of politics
“We are living in a very complex and very dangerous world, in which it is important to define our principles,” he contends. We need to “work on measures for increasing trust,” in particular, in inspections of states suspected of proliferating nuclear weapons. In addition, the former head of France’s government considers we must adhere to the principle of rejecting “regime change”, which, supported by various prejudices, “brings us closer to countries like China and Russia”. We also must “affirm the principle of relying on politics instead of military force to resolve crises”.

The ineptitude of governments is fueling terrorism
In addition, de Villepin states that “the main difficulty of the terrorism problem is that the worst way to solve this problem is to use military force, which is why we are failing to see one of the key realities of terrorism: it is being fueled by the ineptitude of governments”. As a result of military intervention, “we support instability in governments even more, which is what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, in a dramatic way in Yemen, and also in Libya”. Weak governments that struggle to manage are not able to react to the problems in their own countries and become a platform for new forms of terrorism to develop.
Jacques Hubert-Rodier
Special Correspondent in Rhodes