Macron Urged to Be Fair, Have Foresight

Iran has made it clear that the nuclear deal is non-negotiable and other issues, including missile activities, will not be allowed to be added to it
French President Emmanuel MacronFrench President Emmanuel Macron

Iran dismissed a recent call by French President Emmanuel Macron to put its "defensive" missile program up for negotiation, asking him to take a "fair" and visionary approach to regional issues.

"We have repeatedly made clear to France's authorities that the JCPOA is non-negotiable and other issues will not be allowed to be added to it. France is also well aware of our country's strong stance that Iran's defense affairs are not negotiable," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Saturday, IRNA reported.

"France is expected not to be influenced by the wrong assertions and claims of some Persian Gulf [Arab] states against the Islamic Republic of Iran and be realistic and fair and show foresight when considering the developments in the critical region of Middle East," he said.

Paris is a signatory to the Iran nuclear deal, which was also signed by five other major powers, namely the US, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany, to roll back Tehran's nuclear program in return for easing the international sanctions.

US President Donald Trump has railed against the multiparty pact, negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, for being too lenient on Iran and failing to deny it leeway to develop its missile program and expand its regional influence, issues that all the parties to the deal agreed to exclude from the nuclear negotiations and the pact.

Trump announced last month that he will no longer certify Iran's compliance, despite the UN nuclear agency's reports verifying Iran's full commitment.

His decision threw the fate of the agreement into the hands of the US Congress that has until mid-December to decide whether to reinstate sanctions.

The hawkish president has threatened to "terminate" the UN-endorsed accord if congress and Washington's European allies fail to come up with a practical way for amending the pact to accommodate his concerns over Tehran's missile and regional power.

While aligning with Tehran and other European signatories in opposing Trump's demand for a renegotiation of the deal, France's Macron has talked of a need to engage in talks with Iran to push its missile activities into a restrictive framework.

"There are extremely strong concerns about Iran. There are negotiations we need to start on Iran's ballistic missiles," he said. 

"Like what was done in 2015 for the nuclear activities, it's necessary to put a framework in place for Iran's ballistic activities and open a process, with sanctions if needed, of negotiation that would enable [that]," he said in a press conference in Dubai, the UAE, on Thursday.

The United States accused Iran on Tuesday of supplying Yemen's Houthis with a missile that was fired into Saudi Arabia, which has been leading a coalition that has been pounding the Houthi positions in Yemen for more than two and a half years in a campaign to restore the fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi.

Iran vehemently denies Saudi and western accusations that it is shipping arms to Houthis.


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