French foreign minister holds tense talks in Tehran

Katrina Barker
March 8, 2018

Qassemi blasted attempts to link Iranian missiles to other issues, including the nuclear deal, saying Iran "will not [ask] permission from anyone on how to regulate these policies and will not allow any country to interfere in such issues and Iran's policies and will not hold talks on such cases".

"The Europe should completely fulfill its commitments under the deal and at the same time put pressure on the U.S. to remain committed to it".

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is in Tehran for a two-day visit which is expected to be far from easy after a series of harsh statements made by French leaders about Iran's missile program and its role in the Middle East.

Iran claims that it will continue its programs despite the pressure from the United States and other Western countries.

Macron praised the demonstrations as "the free expression of the Iranian people", but did not match President Donald Trump's full-throated encouragement of them.

IAEA director general Yukiya Amano said on Monday that losing the nuclear deal "would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism".

Le Drian told the AFP news agency that he informed Tehran that he is no "emissary of Donald Trump".

He was scheduled to meet with President Hassan Rohani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss "bilateral, regional, and worldwide issues", including the JCPOA implementation.

Ahead of his visit, Le Drian had said that Iran should address "concerns" over its ballistic missile program or risk new sanctions.

Zarif emphasized that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with monitoring Iran's compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, has verified the Islamic Republic's compliance with the deal in 10 reports.

That continued with Iran's armed forces spokesman, Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, who this weekend said over the weekend that Tehran would only give up its missiles when the West abandons nuclear arms.

Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said that the country's missile program is purely defensive, stressing that it is not up to France or any other country to make decisions about Iran's defense issues.

The French president called for Iran to put "the necessary pressure" on its Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, to stop "indiscriminate" attacks on civilians.

The French government has also raised concerns over Iran's ballistic missile research.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday voiced his support for the 2015 nuclear deal which limited Iran's nuclear activities in returns for the uplift of western sanctions against Tehran.

During his stay, Le Drian is also expected to discuss bilateral ties.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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