The major powers accord on Iran was announced today; this photo was part of a Yahoo! slideshow on the event. The caption reads:
Britain's Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett, center, speaks as, from left, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov listen during a press briefing after a meeting at the British Residence in Vienna, Thursday June 1, 2006. Six world powers meeting to discuss the crisis over Iran's nuclear program agreed Thursday on a 'significant' package of incentives to convince Tehran to halt uranium enrichment, Beckett said. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
I predict that one of the ministers surrounding Ms. Rice will fold when the going gets tough, when Iran rejects the proposal, or after Iran decides keep some of the goodies they've been promised and start the bomb-building again anyway. One of them will be the first to say that an ultimatum is not really an ultimatum and can't we all be grown ups and talk some more and anyway Iran doesn't mean any harm and the U.S. needs to stop rattling its saber so much. Who do you think it will be?
In matters such as this, my bet's always on the French.