'Great loss' if Iran accord fails, says United Nations watchdog

Randolph Lopez
March 8, 2018

'There are ballistic programmes of missiles that can reach several thousand kilometres which are not compatible with UN Security Council resolutions and exceed the sole need of defending Iran's borders, ' Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

A US exit could kill the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Tehran has refused to renegotiate.

France's foreign minister visited Iran on Monday on a delicate mission to affirm Europe's support for a nuclear deal that opened Iran's economy while echoing United States concern about Tehran's missile programme and role in regional conflicts.

Trump is concerned that parts of the deal start to expire from 2026 and that it fails to address Iran's missile programme, its regional activities or its human rights abuses.

Macron praised the demonstrations as "the free expression of the Iranian people", but did not match President Donald Trump's full-throated encouragement of them.

Rohani, Zarif, and Le Drian will discuss "bilateral, regional, and worldwide issues", including the implementation of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers under which Tehran has significantly limited its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

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.

Besides, Europe should not allow the United States to pose "illogical and illegal" demands concerning Iran's nuclear deal, Zarif said.

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On the eve of the French foreign minister's visit to Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, held a phone conversation on Sunday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Europe must pressure the United States to fulfill its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement amid Washington's threat to pull out of it.

On February 13, French President Emmanuel Macron said Iran's ballistic missile program must be placed under global surveillance. According to its official BNA news agency, the cell was accused of receiving training in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.

Iran immediately rejected France's concern over its missile program as "wrong", the semi-official Fars News agency said.

The New Yorker magazine earlier reported that Kerry had urged Tehran not to abandon a 2015 nuclear deal, despite tensions with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Weapons programs and Syria aside, Paris and Tehran have growing economic interests, and Le Drian is likely to engage Iranian officials in business discussions.

The visit was originally scheduled for January but postponed due to a week of violent protests in Iran.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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