, Amir Taheri :

So, this week as Le Drian headed for Tehran for what some described as "crucial talks", the consensus in Paris was that if anyone can persuade the mullahs to temper their ardor it would be the Breton miracle-worker.

According to sources in Paris and Tehran, in talks with Iranian officials, Le Drian used his hitherto successful method of "give-and-take".

The method is simple.

The Frenchman asks his interlocutors what is it exactly that they want.

Once that has become clear he would raise the question of how much of what they want is achievable, how and when? The trick is to keep the interlocutors focused on real, tangible things rather than chimeras and abstractions. The next step is to link what the interlocutors want to what the French want and show a high measure of compatibility, leading to a deal that gives both sides most, if not all, of what they want.

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