Francois Nicolo was a very active French diplomat between 1964 and 2005, the French consul general in Chile, Germany and India and the French ambassador to Hungary and Iran. The veteran politician has also been the French ambassador to the United Nations. His presence in Tehran and on the French nuclear negotiating team in 2005 have turned him into an expert in the fields associated with nuclear matters.
Entekhab [Choice] website has recently had an interview with him about different questions Iran is dealing with in terms of nuclear talks with P5+1 and the regional threat of ISIL. What comes below is an excerpt of his answers in the interview:
- As long as Iran continues its tangible yet covert assistance to Iraq to take on ISIL, it does not matter whether or not Iran is officially included in the trumpeted coalition.
- Everyone in the region, Europe, America and Iraq knows well that Iran’s support in the combat against ISIL is essential.
- After ten years of fruitless wrangling, the most important distinction between nuclear talks now and 2005 is that the need for a solution has taken on urgency.
- No one has the upper hand in the talks. In the end, there will be either two winners or two losers.
- Unfortunately, sanctions keep delivering a blow to Iran which needs to have free interaction with the world to make progress on social and economic fronts. To get there, sanctions have to be lifted.
- I am of the idea that the nuclear talks are extremely technical and have got nothing to do with regional and political matters, but it’s a fact that regional crises will all benefit from a successful solution to Iran’s nuclear dossier.
- Over the years, France has adopted a tough position on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the effects of such stance are clear at the present talks. Depending on conditions and time, such an approach can please some and upset others.
- Do not bet on the disagreement and probable division between Europe and America over Iran’s nuclear case. No matter how high the tensions, Europe won’t put its relations with America on the line over Iran.
- I hope that Mr. Zarif was right [when he said that he is optimistic about the outcome of talks in New York]. However, a momentous thing has to happen before a deal is cut, and I have confidence in Mr. Zarif and his team to do their part wholeheartedly.
- To reach an agreement, Iran and P5+1 have to make some changes to their stance. They should take the risk of coming under fire at home. In fact, both sides are in difficult conditions, but there is no option except reconciliation.
- Nothing good will come out of the failure of the talks. Hawks are the only ones who might benefit from it for a short time.
Remarks [by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that Iran wants to rebuild an ancient empire] might sound somewhat sensible, but Mr. Kissinger blew a perfect opportunity to stay silent.