Published: Tue, January 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Le Drian: Iran not Respecting UN Text on Ballistic Missiles

Le Drian: Iran not Respecting UN Text on Ballistic Missiles

To appease the American president, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have taken up to address Iran's ballistic missile tests and Iran's regional influence while preserving what Donald Trump called "the worst deal ever negotiated" - the 2015 accord that tamed Iran's nuclear ambitions for at least ten years.

Le Drian on Sunday said he would visit Iran on March 5 to discuss its ballistic missile program and the nuclear deal agreed with world powers in 2015.

Under the United Nations resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, Iran is "called upon" to refrain from work on ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons.

Mr Le Drian said he would also raise what he called Iran's "destabilising military influence in the Middle East", notably its support for Lebanon's Hezbollah and Yemen's Houthi militias.

Some states say this phrasing does not make it an obligatory commitment.

Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday, Qassemi said the French foreign minister is slated to pay an official visit to Iran. "We have not had any negotiations about our missile and defense capabilities and will not talk about these issues with others", Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency on Monday. "We should surely discuss Iran's influence in the region because it has been a positive one and everyone has benefited from it".

In an interview with daily Le Figaro, Jean-Yves Le Drian said that he would discuss the landmark nuclear deal after the ultimatum delivered on January 12 by USA president Donald Trump to Britain, France and Germany to "fix" the deal or else America would withdraw from it.

Iran's chief nuclear envoy Abbas Araqchi was quoted on Iranian media as rejecting the European strategy.

He called the reports "unfounded" and said his country's "policy and stance concerning its defensive missile programme are completely clear and transparent, and that other countries are well aware of that position". "There's a lot to discuss, and we are now tackling that", she said.

Regarding the reports that Europe aims to increase pressure on Iran, Qasemi said Tehran has not officially heard from the European authorities on such a matter.

Under US law, President must decide again whether to renew the US sanctions relief every 120 days, giving both Europe and Congress time till mid-May to see if there is a way to find a workaround. "But there is no European consensus yet".

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