Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Iran must curb missile program or face sanctions, says top French diplomat

Iran must curb missile program or face sanctions, says top French diplomat

An Iranian nuclear energy official on Monday warned that his country is able to create highly enriched uranium in "less than 48 hours", should the United States drop out of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said in a statement.

Iran must curb its missile program or face sanctions, France's top diplomat said.

Ahead of Le Drian's trip, the French Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying he would pursue "a frank and demanding dialogue with Iran", including over its ballistic missile program and its belligerent regional activities.

It's unclear how much of an effect Le Drian's talks will have in Iran, especially as newspapers greeted him Monday with headlines calling him an "impudent guest" and "Trump's Parisian servant".

Le Drian faced immediate pushback over French concerns about Iran's ballistic missiles, starting with Iranian students waving signs at Iran's Mehrabad International Airport protesting his comments.

"The Iranian authorities told me of their heavy concerns on the humanitarian situation in Syria and their desire to see an end to this catastrophe", Le Drian told reporters.

The ministry said it wanted Iran to contribute in a "positive" manner to solving crises in the Middle East.

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Since taking office, Trump has accused Iran of committing "multiple violations" under the JCPOA and threatened to withdraw the United States from the agreement.

Iran has refused any re-negotiation or additional clauses, arguing that the USA has already failed to keep up its end of the bargain on the existing accord.

However, Zarif noted that the nuclear deal, internationally known as JCPOA, is a multilateral agreement and its fate can not be subjected to the whims of Washington.

Kamalvandi, reiterating Tehran's official stance, said the nuclear deal is not re-negotiable.

Amano said Iran was implementing its commitments under the deal, which also lifted painful economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

"Relations between France and Iran are old and profound because France was a pioneer of archaeological exploration here", said Jean-Luc Martinez, president of the Louvre.

In the first round of talks, Le Drian held a meeting with Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, the Iranian media reported without unveiling further details.

Despite their differences, Iran has broadly welcomed France's efforts to re-engage with the country.

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