France+Iran

After the deterioration of the Saudi-American relations, the Saudis had to further strengthen their relations with France, in an effort to find a new patron. The Saudis had no other choice because Russia is competing with Saudi Arabia in the oil markets, and China has stronger relations wth Iran than with Saudi Arabia.

Map 1

Map Russia Iran.JPG

As you can read at the following article from the state-owned French news agency France 24, after the lifting of the economic sanctions against Iran, the Iranians ordered 118 French Airbus worth 23 billion euros. That does not mean that the French will stop being closer to the Arabs than the Iranians, but it will definitely have consequences.

Note that after the Arab Spring broke out in Syria in 2011 the French were the strongest ally of the Arabs in their efforts to move from power Bashar al Assad, who is the strongest ally of Iran in the Middle East. In 2011 France, together with the US, Turkey and the Arabs of the Gulf were in favour of a military intervention in Syria, while Russia, Germany and Iran were against.

After the 23 billion dollar deal with Iran the French will keep supporting the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, but they might be less aggressive towards Bashar al Assad.

Articles

“France, Iran announce €23 billion Airbus deal”, January 2016

http://www.france24.com/en/20160128-france-iran-agree-deals-airbus-peugeot-rohani-visit

“François Hollande of France Says Assad Must Go”, September 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/world/europe/france-francois-hollande-united-nations-general-assembly.html?_r=0

“Germany’s Merkel sees need to cooperate with Russia on Syria”, September 2015

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-germany-idUSKCN0RC0LM20150912

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