undergroundnewsroom.com March 23, 2018

France says Iran risks sanctions over missiles

08 March 2018, 01:39 | Damon Campbell

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi

He urged the European countries not to bend under the United States "psychological game" pertaining to Iran's nuclear deal.

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

On Saturday, Deputy Chief of Staff and Spokesman of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri announced that Tehran will hold talks on its missile program only if the USA and European countries destroy their atomic warheads and long-range missiles.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the deal unless Congress and European allies help "fix" it with a follow-up agreement.

Le Drian added that Tehran and Paris have started positive banking cooperation and noted that the French companies' investment in Iran had considerably increased after the JCPOA took effect.

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

In an interview published Monday, Zarif criticized the European Union for pursuing an extremist policy with Tehran in order to keep Washington in the agreement.

Zarif stressed that Iran can not be pushed around and warned that "any action to satisfy the party that has most violated the nuclear agreement is useless".

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On Saturday, Brigadier General Jazayeri had said that the Islamic Republic's prerequisite for talks on its missile program is for the USA and certain European states to destroy their long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

Iran immediately rejected France's concern over its missile program as "wrong", the semi-official Fars News agency said.

Ahead of Le Drian's trip, the French Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying he would pursue "a frank and demanding dialogue with Iran", including over its ballistic missile program and its belligerent regional activities.

The French president underscored the "particular responsibility for Iran, because of its ties to the [Damascus] regime, regarding the implementation of the humanitarian truce" sought by the United Nations, his office said.

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.

Iran in 2017 sealed a gas-exploration deal worth $5 billion with French energy giant Total, a result of eased sanctions after Tehran signed the nuclear accord.

For his part, Rouhani said countries exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia - France being one of the biggest suppliers - must answer for war crimes being committed by that country in Yemen.

"The Iranian authorities told me of their heavy concerns on the humanitarian situation in Syria and their desire to see an end to this catastrophe", Le Drian told reporters.

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