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France Turns Into the Top Subject on the Internet: Insults, Descriptions, the Baguette and the Peugeot

By Behrouz Samadbeighi, Rooz Online

Millions of Iranians, inside and outside the country, and even some peace-loving people around the world, stayed up on Saturday night in expectation of the news of the resolution of one of the most difficult international problems of recent years: Iran’s nuclear issue. The latest round of marathon talks between Iran and what is the known as the P5+1 countries - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany - ended on Saturday without a breakthrough. But Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was upbeat and hopeful, despite the hours of intense talks. At the same time, media reports spoke of France’s effective role in making it harder for the two sides to strike a deal resulting in expressions of anger and protest at France in the blogosphere, particularly directed at France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, even though Zarif later said France had played a constructive role.

Kharazi’s Explanations

Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, the head of former president Mohammad Khatami’s president wrote on his Facebook account, “Today the only thing missing is a full length picture of the president of France in Israeli and counterpart Iranian newspapers.” Iran’s former ambassador to France and the UN Kamal Kharazi also wrote on his Facebook page, “Fabius has Jewish roots and is politically a very active member of the community. At the root, there is n difference between him and the foreign minister of Israel. Fabius of course has serious opponents in his party, at the Elise palace, in the French government and in the foreign ministry. Three specific groups support Fabius: French Zionists, French Freemasons and gays, the latter of which has gained a strong position in French politics. Fabius will be seriously challenged, despite initial appearances to the contrary and he will be condemned and will separate from the government.”

But in these reports and others, Iran humor was ever-present too as humor and sarcasm was used to express protest. Some Facebook pages wrote, “France has become a member of the human race too now! Go sell your baguette bread.” This one was popular and other French icons that carry the word France in Persian were also thrown into the teases, such as the French wrench and French sauce. Another one wrote, “What do you expect from a country whose primary exports are the kiss and wine.” Some of these were reminiscent of the days when French words in the US were replaced with others after France refused to support the US in its Iraqi adventure and French fries gave way to freedom fries.

Laurent Fabius is the Leading Culprit

Lauren Fabius’s Facebook too quickly turned a spot for Iranians to express their comments, mostly in Persian. Some of them contained racial and personal slurs, and some were met with warnings from the site comment supervisors. A comment that stood out was one that said, “Oh France, your dad was the height of a chewing gum,” a reference to the small number of positive comments in comparison to those of Mohammad Javad Zarif’s.

Contaminated Blood and the Peugeot Car

Some Iranian commentators took the comments and slurs further and wrote that Laurent Fabius’s name had appeared as the law suit where HIV virus contaminated blood had appeared in Iran and hemophilia patients in Iran. One Iranian newspaper wrote that French car manufacturer Peugeot had engineered a contractual fraud in Iran.

One economics newspaper called for a deeper investigation of the causes for this French posture and added that among the 3 plus 3 European countries, France had suffered the most from the sanctions against Iran (because of the departure of their oil, car and aircraft industries from Iran). It said the talks between Zarif and Fabius days before the latest round of P5+1 talks created the expectation that the country would not act as a spoiler in the talks.

... Payvand News - 11/11/13 ... --

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