It’s not often that we hear about tough talk from France, but Foreign Policy reports Monday that the French are pushing back hard against the United States’ March 31 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran.

Joseph Bahout and Benjamin Haddad write:

The French do not share the sense of hurry that Washington seems to feel. As France’s ambassador to the United States tweeted on March 3: “We want a deal. They need a deal. The tactics and the result of the negotiation should reflect this asymmetry.”

Another diplomat summed it up: “We spent more than 10 years talking, slowly setting an architecture of sanctions, of pressure, defining principles of negotiations. Once we dismantle this, it won’t come back up. So we better get the best possible deal.”

French diplomats also suspect the Obama administration is moving to replace Saudi Arabia with Iran as “the central pillar of regional stability.”