Tehran-Paris ties growing since nuclear deal: diplomat

March 6, 2018 - 18:52

TEHRAN - Abolghassem Delfi, Iran’s ambassador to France, has said that Tehran and Paris ties have been on a positive trend since the conclusion of the 2015 nuclear deal.

“After clinching the JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], our relations with France have been expanding and cooperation between the two countries has increased,” he told IRNA in an interview published on Tuesday.

He said that French President Emmanuel Macron plans to visit Iran in 2018.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Tehran on Monday and met separately with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani.

The senior Iranian officials insisted in their meetings with Le Drian on Iran’s long-held policy that Tehran’s missile program is defensive.

Reports have surfaced that European countries, including France, are pressing Iran to limit its missile program in order to keep the White House in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Francois Nicoullaud, a Former French Ambassador to Iran, told Radio France Internationale on Monday that Iran had no “intentions to limit the [missile] program just to please the Europeans or the Americans”.

In a statement on January 12, U.S. President Donald Trump gave Europeans only 120 days to agree to an overhaul of the nuclear agreement and said if the text of the nuclear deal is not revised he would unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. Trump said the nuclear deal should include Iran’s defense program including missiles.

“Europe’s policy in appeasing the U.S. to keep the country in the JCPOA is wrong and it means being passive and giving in to Trump’s psychological game,” Shamkhani told Le Drian on Monday.

Zarif told Le Drian Iran’s missile program is not included in the JCPOA or the UN Security Council resolution 2231 which endorses the JCPOA.

Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the U.S., UK, France, Russia, and China - Germany and the European Union struck the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015. The deal took effect in January 2016.


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