Nicolas Sarkozy, leading candidate for the French presidency and self-declared "friend of America", spoke to the necessity of a U.S.-France relationship, but asserted that it would not mean "submission," during a campaign speech laying out his foreign policy platform.
Sarkozy has carved out a position for himself in opposition of President Chirac's chill in relations with the United States. The French press has lambasted the right-wing interior minister for his views, even giving him a nickname--"the American"--but Sarkozy has maintained a lead in the polls.
Recent gains by opposing candidate, Segolene Royal, may have led Sarkozy to slightly adjust his rhetoric, or at least to specifically define his views in yesterday's speech on his foreign policy vision for France.
Sarkozy re-stated his opposition to the invasion of Iraq, calling it a "historic" mistake, warning that the US should not make a similar one in Iran. US discussion of the military option is "useless posturing," Sarkozy said, and he would not support any military action against Iran.