France, the ever dependable ally
According to Con Coughlin, Jacques Chirac has sent his foreign minister to Tehran. Has he decided to break ranks with London and Washington and seek a unilateral foreign policy over Iran's nuclear programme?
Apparently not. The real reason Chirac is making contact with Iran is to try and protect the 2,000 French troops serving with United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. Last time the French were stationed there, back in 1983, fifty-eight died after a Hizbollah suicide bomber attacked their base in Southern Beirut. Chirac is keen to avoid history repeating itself.
But exactly what does Chirac's foreign minister plan to ask of the Iranians? I can only imagine something to the effect of:
"Please don't attack us and in return we won't crack down too hard on Hizbollah"You can always rely on the French!