March 24, 2018

Main » France's Le Drian says more work needed with Iran over ballistics

France's Le Drian says more work needed with Iran over ballistics

08 March 2018

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's Minister of Foreign Affairs, is now in Tehran.

"The US and other countries that have turned our region into a powder keg by selling weapons must stop such measures", the Iranian foreign minister stated.

"We want to preserve the nuclear deal because it is working, it's robust and because the Iranians are respecting it", Le Drian's team said.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly described the JCPOA, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama, as "the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into", a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign, and threatened to tear it up.

In a statement on January 12, U.S. President Donald Trump gave Europeans only 120 days to agree to an overhaul of the nuclear agreement and said if the text of the nuclear deal is not revised he would unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. "If not tackled head-on, this country risks new sanctions".

"If the global community is to satisfy only one side of the deal to remain in it, this is Iran which should be satisfied not the U.S. because the latter has not only principally hampered the implementation of the deal but also pressurized the European Union into not fulfilling its commitments", he said.

The prime minister said those problems need to be addressed, though he stressed that that "did not necessarily mean altering the JCPOA, but changing the situation", a reference to his call on world powers to contain Iranian aggression beyond the confines of the deal.

France has been quick to restore trade ties. Planemaker Airbus, oil major Total and automobile manufacturers Peugeot and Renault have signed deals, all at risk if Trump walks out of the accord.

As mentioned in the report, the IAEA has requested clarification from Iran about its plans to develop nuclear marine propulsion, Amano said, suggesting the IAEA has still not heard back from the Islamic Republic.

The ministry said it wanted Iran to contribute in a "positive" manner to solving crises in the Middle East.

"The potentials of the two countries is to a degree that if they work together closely, they will overcome the challenges and achieve good results", said Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iranian Parliament.

"There are programmes for missiles with ranges of several thousand kilometres which are not in line with UN Security Council resolutions and go beyond what is needed to secure Iran's borders", Le Drian told Le Journal du Dimanche on the eve of his visit.

In an effort to keep him on board, French President Emmanuel Macron has criticised Iran's missile programme and raised the possibility of new sanctions.

Iran will press on with its missile program regardless of Western pressure to halt it, a senior military commander was quoted on Monday as saying.

Le Drian also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who expressed hope that the 2015 nuclear deal could be preserved.

France's Le Drian says more work needed with Iran over ballistics