French Foreign Minister in Tehran for potentially tense talks

Posted March 08, 2018

Jean-Yves Le Drian aims to save the 2015 nuclear deal, which US President Donald Trump has threatened to quit unless European allies help "fix" it by forcing Iran to change its behaviour in other areas.

For his part, the Iranian foreign minister praised France and other European sides' principled stance towards the JCPOA but at the same time criticized some European officials for their remarks about and behaviours towards the nuclear deal and also being swayed by the United States when it comes to the JCPOA.

Zarif further accused the USA of failing to fulfill its commitments under the agreement.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who arrived in Tehran March 5 morning, has started negotiations with senior Iranian officials.

"There are ballistic programs of missiles that can reach several thousand kilometers, which are not compatible with UN Security Council resolutions and exceed the sole need of defending Iran's borders", he told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, adding, "If not tackled head-on, this country risks new sanctions".

U.S. President Donald Trump has been a harsh critic of what he calls the agreement's "disastrous flaws".

More news: Teen Breaks Retainer Thirsting After Shirtless Michael B. Jordan; Actor Responds

Shamkhani also told Le Drian that Iran's defense capabilities pose no threat against any country.

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

Zarif countered that Europe needed to "play a more constructive role to preserve" the nuclear deal.

Last month, an IAEA report showed that Iran was continuing to abide by the deal's key measures.

The French minister's visit to Tehran comes against a backdrop of criticism of Paris for its push to hold talks on Iran's missile program.

"Annihilation of the U.S. and Europe's nuclear weapons and long-range missiles is the prerequisite for negotiations on Iran's missiles", Jazzayeri said.

More news: Opioid Overdoses Skyrocket in Emergency Departments

"The condition for negotiating Iran's missiles is the destruction of the nuclear weapons and long range missiles of the United States and Europe", Iranian Armed Forces spokesperson Masoud Jazayeri was quoted by the state news agency IRNA as saying.

Tehran supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels, including groups backed by the West, and backs Israel's enemy Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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

The visit was originally scheduled for January but postponed due to a week of violent protests in Iran.

Britain, France and Germany are reportedly working with USA officials to draw up a strategy to "improve" the Iran nuclear deal in return for Trump keeping the pact alive.

More news: Broadcom cries foul as USA regulator intervenes in Qualcomm saga