Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National (FN), the most likely winner of the upcoming municipal and European elections in France, held a press conference on January 22, in which she presented the foreign policy of her party, including a passionate plea for France to break off its relations with Saudi Arabia and ally itself to Iran.
Sitting next to her foreign policy advisor Aymeric Chauprade, Le Pen advocated that France should sever its links with Saudi Arabia, "America's best ally" and a "dangerous country ruled by extremist clans, who, since the origin of Wahhabism, have but one goal: to dominate global Islam and turn it into jihad against all other civilizations."
Marine Le Pen (right) and her foreign policy advisor Aymeric Chauprade. Image source: Wikimedia/Marie-Lan Nguyen (Le Pen); Wikimedia/Realpolitik-tv (Chauprade).
Marine Le Pen is apparently of the idea that the world is currently under threat from two evil types of global imperialism trying to subjugate France: American "euro-mondialism" and Islamism. In Le Pen's view, both the Americans (with the European Union as an American tool) and the Islamists want to dominate the world and destroy France's sovereignty and identity.
Her view seems to be that there is moral equivalence between the U.S. and Islamism; that both are equally eager to dominate the world, and that sometimes they even cynically use each other to foster their own goals.
At the conference, Le Pen called on her "moderate Muslim compatriots" to help the FN fight the violent Islamists, who, with Saudi support, are trying to impose their will on the world and France. To counter the Saudis, Le Pen said, France should support Iran.
The Saudis, she explained, want aggressively to isolate Iran, but the position of women is far better in Iran than in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or even Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Apparently she is unaware of both the rapes in Iranian prisons, the custom of arranging "marriages" for even an hour as a form of "legal" prostitution, and that just last year Iran passed a law that allows men to marry their adopted daughters at the age of 13, or even younger, with her family's permission. All a man therefore has to do to take advantage of legalized paedophilia is to "adopt" his victim, marry her, then legally rape her.
Le Pen claimed that it is in France's interest that Iran does not acquire nuclear arms, but Iran should be allowed to further develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes. She seems dangerously unaware, at best, that Iran's nuclear program is not at all for peaceful purposes. As she mentioned herself, however, Iran possesses the second biggest gas and oil reserves in the world, but she fails to wonder why a country which such an abundance of gas and oil would need nuclear energy for civilian purposes. if Iran were merely developing energy for civilian purposes, it would not need to enrich uranium or plutonium. The Iranians are enriching uranium and plutonium with only one purpose – and it has nothing to do with civilian purposes.
The boycott of Iran, Le Pen said, should stop. French companies should return to Iran and follow the example of Germany and even America, who are eager to play an important role in Iran. The Germans are discreetly positioning themselves in Iran, which, she claims, proves that their international policies are "much smarter than ours." By that logic, she presumably would have considered countries that enabled the Third Reich by doing business with it in the 1930s "much smarter than ours," too.
Le Pen's deeply misinformed idea that America is trying to subjugate France blinds her to the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is at least as despotic as Saudi Arabia; as great a sponsor of Islamic terrorism; as intent on "putting down Israel," and as determined to impose political Islam on the word -- just a Shi'ite version of Islam as opposed to a Sunni version of Islam. "Saudi Arabia supports extremist Salafists everywhere," Le Pen said. "It is clear that the Saudis support al-Qaeda and have been doing so for a very long time." She however fails to mention that the West is as much under threat from Shi'ite terrorist groups backed by Iran, such as Hezbollah, as it is from Sunni terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda.
Le Pen's worldview, it seems, has been heavily influenced by the man sitting next to her during her press conference: Aymeric Chauprade is a 45-year-old with a doctorate in geopolitics, who taught at the Joint Defense College of the French army for ten years, until he was fired in 2009 after writing a book in which he voiced the possibility that the 9/11 attacks might have been part of a deliberate plot conceived in Washington to start an American war against the rest of the world.
In Chauprade's view, America is just as bad as the Islamists. On January 30, one week after Le Pen's press conference, Chauprade posted a video of his own in which he even mentioned Israel. He said that both the United States and Israel are the allies of the Saudis in their attempts to destroy moderate Arab regimes that are trying to modernize Islam.
France, Chauprade said, has six million Sunni Muslims living within its borders. It is not in France's interest that the Saudis succeed in radicalizing these people. Hence, France should break its relationship with Saudi Arabia and ally itself with Iran. He added that, ironically, the United States is quietly disengaging itself from the Saudis -- although from recent columns in the New York Times, it would seem as if it is the Saudis are disengaging themselves from the United States, out of fear of America's passive support for the Iranian nuclear program -- the U.S. must appear a deeply untrustworthy ally. The Saudis assume Iran would target them even before Israel, in order to acquire the Saudi oilfields. The U.S., Chauprade said, is attempting to acquire greater influence in Iran, because the Americans have noticed the enormous strategic potential of Iran, which in the end might prove to be more advantageous to their imperialist goals than Saudi Arabia.
And when that happens, Chauprade warns, the Americans might use France's good relations with the Saudis and their sponsorship of international terrorism as an instrument to embarrass France.
In the "geopolitical" worldview of Marine Le Pen's major foreign policy advisor, the biggest Satan of all seems to be America; so Israel, only democracy in the Middle East, but America's closest ally, is therefore equally bad.
It does not come as much of a surprise, then, that Iran's nuclear program and Hezbollah's terrorist activities do not seem to bother the FN leadership.
Chauprade, by the way, is one of the leading candidates of the FN for the European Parliament [EP] elections next May, and is being groomed to become the leader of the FN group in the EP when Marine Le Pen, the current EP group leader of the FN, moves on to the French national parliament, the Assemblée Nationale, after the next French general elections.