Lawmaker Warns Paris Against Following US Lead

Lawmaker Warns Paris Against Following US Lead
Lawmaker Warns Paris Against Following US Lead

A lawmaker warned France not to go along with the US hostile stance toward Iran.

“If France is seeking to expand its relations with Iran, it should adopt an independent policy and avoid tying its Iran relations to the US interests because it would benefit neither Iran nor France,” Akbar Ranjbarzadeh said in a Tuesday talk with ICANA.

Ranjbarzadeh was commenting on accusations by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian a day earlier that Iran is not respecting part of a UN resolution that calls on it to refrain from work on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Speaking on arrival at a European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Le Drian also said the 28 ministers would reiterate their concerns over Iran’s allegedly destabilizing activities in Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, Reuters reported.

“We will also have the opportunity of underlining our firmness on Iran’s compliance with United Nations Resolution 2231, which limits access to ballistic capacity and which Iran does not respect,” Le Drian claimed.

Under the UN resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, Iran is “called upon” to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to 8 years.

Tehran argues the resolution’s language on the ban does not make it binding and insists it has and will never seek nuclear-capable missiles.

Le Drian on Sunday said he would travel to Iran in March and that France had begun talks with Tehran to discuss its missile program and regional activities.

  Positive Influence

But Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman on Monday dismissed the suggestion of talks on either issue.

“If there is such a quote [from the French foreign minister] that we held talks, we deny it. We have not had any negotiations about our missile and defense capabilities and will not talk about these issues with others,” Bahram Qasemi said.

With US President Donald Trump warning of a last chance for “the worst deal ever negotiated”, Britain, France and Germany have reportedly begun talks on a plan to satisfy him by addressing Iran’s ballistic missile tests and its regional influence while preserving the 2015 accord.

“The French foreign minister is not familiar with Iranian society yet,” Qasemi said. “Iran has proved that it would not change course under pressure.”

“We should surely discuss Iran’s influence in the region because it has been a positive one and everyone has benefited from it. Without Iran’s influence, terrorists [would have] captured Damascus and Baghdad,” he said.


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