Fabius: Need to Make Up for Lost Time

Fabius: Need to Make Up for Lost Time
Fabius: Need to Make Up for Lost Time

France's Foreign Minter Laurent Fabius said efforts should be made to compensate for the time lost for French-Iran cooperation due to the nuclear dispute.  

"Today is the beginning of a new chapter of cooperation between Tehran and Paris and the nuclear deal brightens the outlook for the resumed bilateral relations," Fabius said in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Wednesday.

"We should act quickly to make up for the time we have lost for expansion of cooperation," IRNA quoted him saying.

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) struck an accord in Vienna on July 14 to end a 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

The top French diplomat voiced hope that the path to total removal of sanctions, which Iran will get under the deal in return for accepting temporary limitations on its nuclear work, would be free of obstacles so the Iranian people can soon benefit from its outcomes.

Fabius extended an invitation to Rouhani on behalf of his French counterpart Francois Hollande to visit Paris.

Rouhani described the historic pact as an "important step toward turning threats into opportunities," saying it is in the interest of the P5+1 and all regional players "because it is not contrary to (the interests of) any country."

"This can be proved by our consultations and cooperation, for example in the campaign against terrorism and provision of humanitarian aid to help address regional issues."

The president expressed Tehran's readiness to cooperate with other countries to help restore peace and security to the region.  

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Fabius.

Zarif told a news conference after the meeting that he had "good" discussions with his French counterpart.

"I am pleased to see such unanimity that it is necessary that all in the region and the world should act in unison to fight terrorism and extremism."

Expressing hope that Fabius' visit would help the two sides clarify misunderstandings between them, he said, "In today's talks we agreed to step up political consultations."  

"For some time, political talks between the two countries have been limited to the nuclear issue. Now we want to increase them so they are held regularly at the level of directors, deputy ministers and foreign ministers."

Fabius called Iran an "influential country" in the region, saying the nuclear agreement contributes significantly to regional and international peace and stability.