[Jacques Chirac] had been so identified for years with France's pro-Iraqi policy that nationalists in Iran, the enemy of Iraq, mock him by pronouncing his name "Shah-Iraq." Some Israelis who believed that the reactor would have enabled Iraq to produce a nuclear bomb added their contempt by calling the Osirak nuclear reactor "O-Chirac."
In the original salvo two years ago, Giscard, a possible rival of Chirac in the coming election, told the French Jewish magazine L'Arche that the sale of the reactor to Iraq "came out of an agreement that was not negotiated in Paris and therefore did not originate with the president of the republic." Those words seemed to put full responsibility on Chirac.
Most analysts now believe that Chirac, a conservative, and [Francois Mitterrand], a Socialist, would be the leading candidates. But French presidential elections have two rounds, and the first is usually a kind of free-for-all. Giscard is regarded as a possible rival of Chirac for rightist voters in the first round.