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National Interests or Irrationality of Appeasement

“If you repeat it, I will deny it”, by Jean-Claude MauriceSource: La Revue Parlementaire, French Monthly,April 2009 edition
When Dominique de Villepin (former Prime Minister of France during the presidency of Jacques Chirac) discovered at the end of his meeting in Tehran with the Iranian foreign minister at the time, Kamal Kharrazi, that Jean-Claude Maurice was present at the meeting, he worried about his “reputation.” He asked: “What are you doing here? Did you hear everything? This is unbelievable! I hope you forget everything you heard. Our reputation depends on it.”

But, Maurice, a former editor of Journal du Dimanche “had heard and written down everything.” Now in a book entitled, “If you repeat it, I will deny it” (Plon Publishers), he recounts his observations of the main French policy makers.

Maurice, a well-regarded personality, witnessed the decisions taken under the banner of “national interests,” and he exposes secrets a few individuals could ever come across with.

But the most shocking part of the book for our politicians concerns the preparations for a noisy and extensive raid in Auvers-sur-Oise in June 2003. The most important police operations ordered by judge Brugiere against Iranian refugees in France was decided upon in Tehran.

The operation failed but the harm was done. Three Iranians who were under serious threat of extradition set themselves on fire across from the headquarters of DST (French anti-terrorist department). One of them, Sedigheh Mojaveri, lost her life as a result. Maurice writes: “Four people started this blaze: Chirac, Sarkozy, Villepin, and judge Brugiere.” It has been said that “national interest does not have a face.” But, Jean Claude Maurice puts a face on it, “the face of a victim, Sedigheh Mojaveri, a young Iranian woman who set herself on fire in France.”

During his meeting with his Iranian counterpart in April 2003, Dominique de Villepin announced that France is preparing for an operation against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Since 2000, French secret services had been cooperating with one of the most infamous intelligence services in the world known for its chain killings of intellectuals in Iran and conducting assassination of dissidents abroad.

In May 2003, the Iranian ambassador inquires about the arrangements of the operation: “Everything is ready since our intelligence services have given the DST a list of dissidents who must be imprisoned.”

The author tells us that there is no doubt that “There was a plan to behead the Iranian opposition upon pressures from Tehran.”

Six years after the attacks, the case is empty. Defense lawyers are pursuing a request to close the investigations. Reading this book is a must for all those who “may tend to choose the least harm in order to avoid decisions which would lead to mistakes.”