French Call for Further Negotiations Rejected

The Foreign Ministry on Friday dismissed a French call for more negotiations with Tehran over the international nuclear accord and its missile program and said some of France’s partners are “bullying and have excessive demands,” a clear  reference to the United States.

“There is no need for the 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers to be renegotiated, foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said,” according to IRNA.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that, following the US pullout from the agreement, Tehran should be ready to negotiate on its future nuclear plans, its ballistic missile arsenal and its role in wars in Syria and Yemen.

“French and international officials know well that Iran’s regional policy is in pursuit of peace and regional and international security and fighting terrorism and extremism,” Qassemi said.

“Under the conditions when all of Iran’s efforts with other world powers are nullified through the bullying and excessive demands of some of the partners of the French foreign minister and their own inability [leaves no room for] reason, need, reliability or trust for negotiations on issues that are non-negotiable,” he said, referring  to Iran’s declared position that it would not negotiate its defense capabilities.

The agreement, reached after marathon talks, limited Iran’s nuclear development program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

Western powers had claimed that Tehran was trying to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear program. Tehran has always maintained that the program is peaceful. US President Donald Trump backed out of the agreement in May, throwing its survival into doubt.

Paris and Tehran have already locked horns this week. The former told its diplomats and foreign ministry officials to postpone indefinitely all non-essential travel to Iran, citing a foiled bomb plot and a hardening of Tehran’s attitude towards France, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. The French Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the issue or say whether embassy staff had been asked to repatriate their families, Reuters said.

A Trump administration official praised France for the reported decision and called on all nations to take further action against Tehran.

"That's the kind of action that President [Donald] Trump and Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo welcome," newly appointed special representative for Iran Brian Hook told a national security summit at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, CNS News reported on Thursday.  "We commend France for this step, and we hope to see additional steps taken from all nations to protect their own security."

On Wednesday, Qassemi said Iran had not received any information about such a decision from any reliable source in the French government.   "There is basically no need and reason for taking such a decision," the official said.


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