According to Haaretz:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama’s positions on Iran, according to reports that have reached Israel’s government.
Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate’s stance on Iran as “utterly immature” and comprised of “formulations empty of all content.”
Until now, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have tried to maintain a united front on Iran. But according to the senior Israeli source, Sarkozy fears that Obama might “arrogantly” ignore the other members of this front and open a direct dialogue with Iran without preconditions.
As Emanuele Ottolenghi notes, Sarkozy’s use of the term “arrogant” is interesting because Obama’s (utterly immature) critique of U.S. foreign policy relies heavily on the notion that we have been “arrogant” in our dealings with the rest of the world. In fact, the reason Obama has advanced for engaging in talks with a series of anti-American dictatorships, not just Iran, is the need to overcome the perception that we are “arrogant.”
It will be interesting to see whether or not Sarkozy denies making these comments.