France’s Dangerous Partner
by Hedayat Mostowfi
4 June 2004

What is a matter of Euros and dollars for the French government is a matter of life and death for the Iranian people.


The French government is one of the strongest critics of the situation in Iraq. One might find this concern sincere at the first glance, but a closer look reveals that for the French government, lucrative deals take precedence over human rights.

Our historic memory is not that short to forget that the French government was Saddam Hussein’s major trade partner. With Saddam’s fall, French lost a major interlocutor in the Middle East. With its new partnership with Iran, it seems that the French government has chosen a new ally in the Middle East. A very dangerous partner indeed!

In 1985, France was ranked only 31st in trade with Iran. Since last year, it has moved up 28 places, to become Iran’s 3rd largest trading partner. With newly signed oil, automobile and cell phone deals it has now assumed the undisputed number one position.

Unfortunately the Iranian people have had to pay the price with their resources and with more pressure on their resistance.

The French government knows that to secure the mullahs’ friendship, one has to act against the Iranian people. This means ignoring the human rights abuses by the Islamic Republic of Iran and helping the mullahs suppress the Iranian resistance movement. The French government should feel disgraced by its actions.

On June 17th 2003, in an attack, coordinated with the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, 1,300 French policemen invaded the houses of Iranian dissidents in Auvers-sur-Oise, and elsewhere in Paris and arrested 165 Iranians, including the Iranian Resistance's President-elect Maryam Rajavi. The French accused the Iranian resistance of “intentions to plan terrorist attacks on Iranian embassies in Europe.”  That was a false accusation and the French police had to release all those arrested after major protests by Iranians and the French. One year after the attack, the French police have yet to offer any reason to justify the raids against the Iranian resistance. After the June 17 attacks, trade between the two countries increased by 30 percent.

A new game against the Iranian resistance started a couple of months ago, when the French government began to hear charges against the Iranian resistance for an attack against the Iranian government in February 2000 in Tehran. Normally, the French would have nothing to do with such cases, because the attack was carried out by Iranians, against Iranian regime's targets and on Iranian soil. There was no French involvement whatsoever. 

If the French feel obligated to investigate such charges, why then do they not investigate claims by hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have been victims of torture in Iranian prisons. The French government has disregarded all of those claims in the past fifteen years on the grounds that they had not been carried out in France. This double standard is nothing but the result of an appalling deal with the terrorist mullahs of Iran.

What did the French actually get from the mullahs to pursue this charge?

In March 2004, a French telecommunications company ALCATEL got the largest communications deal in Iran. ALESTOM, again a French company, got a four hundred million dollar deal to produce locomotives in Iran. On April 21, 2004, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, was received by the senior French officials. On the same day, the French oil conglomerate TOTAL won a 1.2 billion dollar bid to extract Iranian gas in the southern Pars region of the Persian Gulf. Three days later, the automobile giant, RENAULT, sent a delegation to Iran to finalize a deal that allowed the production of 500,000 cars in Iran each year. It was no surprise that on April 27th, the French government began to press charges against the Iranian resistance.

In the new world order, the French government has chosen to side with terrorists who have taken the lives of at least 120,000 Iranians and hundreds of foreign nationals. The French are in cahoots with a government that is the major sponsor of international terrorism and on the verge of producing nuclear weapons.

What is a matter of “Euros” and “dollars” for the French government is a matter of life and death for the Iranian people. The mullahs have destroyed their lives, violated their basic human rights, taken away their future, executed or imprisoned tens of thousands of their children and plundered their resources.  Daily protests by workers, teachers, nurses, university students and all other walks of life in Iran, show that the Iranian people have rejected the clerical regime in its entirety. The French government should know that there is no honor in helping the terrorist and murderous regime of mullahs in Iran.  The days for the mullahs’ regime are numbered. What the French government will gain in economical deals today, they will lose in the future when Iran is free again.

Hedayat Mostowfi is the Executive Director for nationwide Committee in Support of Referendum in Iran.