Tehran hits back at French sanctions threats

January 26, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran has strongly criticized France for threatening Tehran with new sanctions over its missile program, vowing to reconsider its relations with European countries if such sanctions are imposed.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi made the remarks on Friday, in reaction to earlier comments by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who said his country is ready to impose further sanctions on Iran if no progress is made in talks over Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

“We are ready, if the talks don’t yield results, to apply sanctions firmly, and they know it,” Le Drian told reporters.

The spokesman said Le Drian’s threat to impose new missile sanctions is against the spirit of political talks and cooperation between the two countries.

“Iran has always sought to consolidate peace and stability in the region, and believes the mass sale of sophisticated and assault weapons by the U.S. and some European countries, including France, has undermined regional stability and balance,” he stated.  

“Iran’s military capabilities are part of the country’s legitimate defense power and a guarantor of the Islamic Republic’s national security, which is based on the doctrine of deterrence,” Press TV quoted Qassemi as saying.

“The Islamic Republic has designed its defense capabilities based on a realistic assessment of the existing threats,” he said, reiterating that Iran’s missile capability is “non-negotiable”.

Le Drian’s remarks came as the European Union is expected to launch its exclusive payment mechanism, known as the special purpose vehicle (SPV), for facilitating non-dollar trade with Iran in a bid to circumvent U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The SPV “should be implemented in the coming days,” the French foreign minister announced on Wednesday.

“It will work as a sort of clearing house that will allow in euros for Iran to benefit from some of its oil resources and at the same time buy essential products from the three main (European) partners,” he added.

MH/PA

Leave a Comment

5 + 9 =