FRENCH ‘BACK­BONE’

The Washington Times Daily - - World - BY JAMES MOR­RI­SON

France has made a sched­uled con­gres­sional hear­ing on Iran this week more in­ter­est­ing than promised.

For­eign Min­is­ter Lau­rent Fabius early Sun­day scut­tled a deal pushed by the U.S. and other Western na­tions to get Iran to freeze its ura­nium en­rich­ment in ex­change for eas­ing some crip­pling eco­nomic sanc­tions.

Crit­ics, in­clud­ing Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, had been warn­ing that the deal would do noth­ing to stop Iran’s sus­pected pro­gram to build a nu­clear bomb. He re­peat­edly said “no deal is bet­ter than a bad deal.”

Mr. Fabius on Satur­day first ex­pressed dis­plea­sure with the deal, telling France-In­ter Ra­dio that he did not want France to be part of a “con game.”

In Wash­ing­ton, Sen. John McCain praised Mr. Fabius.

“France had the courage to pre­vent a bad nu­clear agree­ment with Iran. Vive la France!” the Ari­zona Repub­li­can said Sun­day on Twit­ter.

The ex­iled Ira­nian re­sis­tance also cheered.

“France should be lauded for show­ing back­bone to ob­ject to the ‘sucker’s’ deal,” said Ali M. Safavi of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Re­sis­tance of Iran, which re­vealed two of Iran’s se­cret nu­clear sites in 2002.

Sen. Robert Me­nen­dez, chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on For­eign Re­la­tions, was shocked at the po­ten­tial deal.

“My con­cern here is that we seem to want the deal al­most more than the Ira­ni­ans,” the New Jersey Demo­crat said on ABC’s “This Week.”

France’s stand comes as Rep. Ed­ward R. Royce, chair­man of the House Com­mit­tee on For­eign Af­fairs, is pre­par­ing to turn a diplo­matic spot­light on Iran at a 10 a.m. Wed­nes­day hear­ing in Room 2172 of the Ray­burn House Of­fice Build­ing.

The Cal­i­for­nia Repub­li­can al­ready was up­set with the Iran talks.

“In­stead of tough­en­ing sanc­tions to get mean­ing­ful and last­ing con­ces­sions, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion looks to be set­tling for in­terim and rev­ersible steps [by Iran],” Mr. Royce said Fri­day as he an­nounced his com­mit­tee hear­ing. “A par­tial freeze on en­rich­ment … is not a freeze.”

The hear­ing was sched­uled to co­in­cide with the 100th day in of­fice of Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Hasan Rouhani.

TA­CLOBAN, PHILIP­PINES | Res­cuers faced blocked roads and dam­aged air­ports Mon­day as they raced to de­liver des­per­ately needed tents, food and medicine to the typhoon-dev­as­tated east­ern Philip­pines where thou­sands are be­lieved dead.

Three days af­ter the Typhoon Haiyan rav­aged the re­gion, the full scale of the dis­as­ter was just be­com­ing ap­par­ent. Au­thor­i­ties es­ti­mated that up to 10,000 peo­ple may have died. In the city of Ta­cloban, corpses hung from trees and were scat­tered on side­walks. Many were buried in flat­tened build­ings.

“This area has been to­tally rav­aged,” said Se­bastien Su­jobert, head of the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross in Ta­cloban. “Many lives were lost, a huge num­ber of peo­ple are miss­ing, and ba­sic ser­vices such as drink­ing wa­ter and elec­tric­ity have been cut off,” he said.

He said both the Philip­pine Red Cross and the ICRC of­fices in Ta­cloban had been dam­aged, forc­ing staff to re­lo­cate tem­po­rar­ily.

Haiyan hit the east­ern seaboard of the Philip­pines on Fri­day and quickly bar­reled across its cen­tral is­lands, pack­ing winds of 147 mph that gusted to 170 mph, with a storm surge of 20 feet.

Its sus­tained winds weak­ened to 74 mph as the typhoon made land­fall in north­ern Viet­nam early Mon­day af­ter cross­ing the South China Sea, ac­cord­ing to the Hong Kong me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal ob­ser­va­tory.

It in­flicted se­ri­ous dam­age to at least six of the ar­chi­pel­ago’s more than 7,000 is­lands, with Leyte, Sa­mar and the north­ern part of Cebu ap­pear­ing to bear the brunt of the storm. About 4 mil­lion peo­ple were af­fected by the storm, the na­tional dis­as­ter agency said.

Video from East­ern Sa­mar prov­ince’s Guiuan town­ship — the first area where the typhoon made land­fall — showed a trail of dev­as­ta­tion. Many houses were flat­tened and roads were strewn with de­bris and up­rooted trees. The ABS-CBN video showed sev­eral bod­ies on

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS

Sur­vivors walk through the rub­ble of dam­aged homes and a ship that was washed ashore in Ta­cloban in cen­tral Philip­pines on Sun­day. The city re­mains lit­tered with de­bris from dam­aged homes as many com­plain of short­ages of food and wa­ter and no elec­tric­ity since Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their prov­ince.

A Filipino res­i­dent re­acts af­ter get­ting sup­plies from a gro­cery that was stormed by peo­ple in Ta­cloban.

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