This can be seen most notably in French President Emmanuel Macron’s accusation that Tehran is “championing terrorism” across the Middle East, something that rocked so-called reformists who tried to drive a wedge between Western countries. Now, infighting in Iran has climbed to new heights.
Iran’s Keyhan newspaper, which pushes the views of Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote on June 8: “When it comes to enmity with Iran[‘s regime], Trump and Macron put aside their differences. The French and US presidents’ recent remarks about the Islamic Republic shows a crawling project to undermine, contain, and if possible, stop the advance and development of the Islamic Republic by putting obstacles before Iran’s strategic depth and regional influence.”
The piece went on to describe the US and EU approach to Iran as the “anti-Iranian project” and lashed out at the faction close to Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani, noting that Rouhani would soon be talking about negotiating with Europe.
Keyhan then moved onto the sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry and ridiculed Trump’s offer to talk, saying that negotiation with the US or EU was “nothing but a tool to impose pressure”.
They wrote: “Sitting at the negotiating table with the US means criticizing the very issues for which the path was paved through pressure.”
While another paper close to Khamenei’s faction, Vatanemrooz, published an article that quoted Macron as saying that the differences between the US and Europe over Iran is not strategic and attacked Rouhani’s cabinet for giving Europe leeway after the US imposed sanctions.
They wrote: “The policy of giving Europe time has been completely futile and only holds back the country… Therefore, we should consider the 60-day ultimatum to Europe as ended on day 29.”
While Resalat, a third newspaper close to Khamenei went as far as to call for the expulsion of the French ambassador to Tehran, claiming that Macron’s statements mean that France is set on “battling Iran” and that France is essentially “a criminal who insists on his crime”.
The paper wrote: “The very least precondition to decisively confront the French in the current situation is to remove Paris from our country’s foreign relations equation. Under such circumstances, the continued presence of the French ambassador to Tehran (as an unwanted individual) has no meaning anymore and the ‘expulsion of the French ambassador’ must be on the agenda of the diplomatic and foreign relations apparatus of our country.”