Middle East

Iran media highlight France's 'obstruction'

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a news conference at the end of the Iranian nuclear talks in Geneva November 10, 2013.
Image caption Talks are set to resume on 20 November

Iranian media have highlighted what they called "obstruction" by France at the Geneva nuclear talks, which ended on Saturday without reaching any agreement.

Cutting across political divides, most Iranian daily newspapers carried headlines suggesting that France, acting on behalf of Israeli interests, was decisive; while one editorial claimed that Paris was playing the "bad cop" role in the negotiations.

At the same time, some Iranian editorials urged their government not to reach an agreement that would harm their country's interests.


Iranian state-controlled broadcaster Channel One TV was blunt in its assessment of the French influence on the talks. According to the channel, Paris had reportedly "made intense efforts to secure the Zionists' viewpoint". It further reported that France's approach "put question marks on the other side's honesty in the negotiations".

English-language Press TV discussed the talks' outcome in a phone conversation with Iranian political commentator Kaveh Afrasiabi, who said that "although there was an agreement on part of other powers including the US... in the final hours, the French foreign minister sabotaged it on behalf of Israel."


The moderate Aftab-e Yazd newspaper said that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had "adopted a position that severely diminished all the hopes and imposed a relatively negative atmosphere on the process of negotiations".

Conservative Ettelat echoed the view with the headline "France creates obstruction in negotiations' path", while another conservative daily Javan, affiliated to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, said "France replaces America in pursuing Zionists' demands in talks".

In a commentary, the conservative Khorasan said: "It seems that France was playing the role of 'bad cop', while America, Britain and Germany were playing the role of 'good cops' in the talks." The paper further said that "given France's anti-Iran background and the presence of strong Jewish and Israeli lobbying groups in that country, it is trying to undermine the talks to serve the interests of those countries interested in seeing the talks fail."

A section of the Iranian press seems to be critical of the Western side's stand in the talks in general. Reformist Sharq's editorial said that "It is a wrong assumption that they [Western governments] can force Iran to make concessions under threats and pressure. The Islamic Republic is willing to see the issue resolved as soon as possible, but this does not mean that it is willing to make it happen at any cost."

Javan's editorial headlined "Reasons for not being optimistic about the negotiations" discussed the significance of the talks for Iran. "Even if Iran halts all its nuclear activities, the West will never ease pressure on the Islamic Republic because the nuclear issue is just one of the pretexts for applying pressure."

Conservative Jomhuri-ye Eslami urged the Western side to "free themselves from the yoke of Zionists' policies" in order to maintain their credibility.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.