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Paris Stance on Iran Missile Program "Unreasonable"

Paris Stance on Iran Missile Program "Unreasonable"Paris Stance on Iran Missile Program "Unreasonable"

Given the threats facing Iran in the region, France's call for curbing Iran's missile program does not make sense, a lawmaker said.

"Considering the threats [to Iran] in the region such as those from the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group and the western-Israeli-Arab coalition, our country needs peaceful defensive arms. Therefore, France's position on the issue is unreasonable," Asghar Salimi also told ICANA on Friday.

He was commenting on Paris's call for an "uncompromising" dialogue with Iran over its ballistic missile program.

French officials have raised the issue of imposing new European sanctions on Iran as a punitive measure to curtail its missile tests.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, French Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Agnes Romatet-Espagne said, "France is concerned about the continued pace of Iranian missile program, which does not conform to [UN] Security Council Resolution 2231 [which endorses the 2015 nuclear deal]."

According to Resolution 2231, Iran is called upon not to engage in activities related to ballistic missile systems capable of carrying nuclear bombs, while Tehran has rightly pointed out that none of its missiles ise designed to deliver nuclear arms.

"France wishes to examine all the diplomatic options: a frank and uncompromising political dialogue with Iran; investigations by the UN General Secretariat; if necessary, new European sanctions against Iranian entities or individuals involved in the ballistic program; and finally opening a negotiation on the subject," the French official added.

French President Emmanuel Macron had also recently called on Iran to engage in negotiations over its missile program. Iran has dismissed the request, stressing the defensive and non-nuclear nature of its missile program.

  No EU Appetite for Sanctions

EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini dismissed France's stance, indicating that the EU does not have any intention to endanger the hard-fought nuclear deal with Iran.

She said on Tuesday, "First of all, let me say that we did not discuss today nor last week, nor do I foresee any discussion in the future about further sanctions from the European Union side on Iran."

Paris is a signatory to the landmark nuclear deal, alongside five other major powers, namely the US, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.

US President Donald Trump has adopted a confrontational approach toward the multiparty pact, negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

He has called the agreement "the worst deal ever" without providing any evidence and refused to certify Iran's compliance.

Trump has suggested that he could terminate the deal unless the US Congress comes up with a solution to correct his trumped up "flaws".

Now the matter is under the consideration of congress, which has until mid-December to decide whether to reinstate economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for temporary restrictions on its nuclear activities.

Despite Trump's antagonism, the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Iran's compliance with the agreement on several occasions.

Following a recent trip to Tehran, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano reiterated that "Iran is under the most robust verification agreement in the world now. As of today, we can say that the commitments are being implemented."

 

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