French foreign minister in Iran amid missile criticism
08 March, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Mable Gonzales
The official called for the acceleration of implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal, internationally known as JCPOA, signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 agreement, and a year ago refused to confirm to Congress that it is in America's national security interest.
"If the JCPOA were to fail, it would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism".
Amano said United Nations inspectors had access to all required sites and between them now spend 3,000 calendar days a year working in Iran.
Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said that the country's missile program is purely defensive, stressing that it is not up to France or any other country to make decisions about Iran's defense issues.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his French counterpart it's vitally important that the United States not abandon the Obama-era deal, which lifts Iranian sanctions in exchange for limits on Tehran's nuclear program.
Iran is not allowed to enrich uranium beyond 3.67 percent fissile purity under the deal, a level that is suitable for fuelling some civilian nuclear power stations and far short of the 80-90 percent that is considered weapons grade.
Iran has stayed within the deal's restrictions since Trump took office but has fired diplomatic warning shots at Washington in recent weeks. But diplomats familiar with the IAEA's thinking have said the Trump administration's view arises from a poor understanding of how the IAEA does its work in Iran.
For his part, Le Drian hailed Iran's commitment to the JCPOA, saying that France insists on the full implementation of the deal.
Kamalvandi, reiterating Tehran's official stance, said the nuclear deal is not re-negotiable.
"Any move to undermine the JCPOA would result in the loss of credibility of other worldwide agreements", said Shamkhani.
Le Drian said that both countries have new plans for boosting cooperation in monetary and banking interactions.
Iran's ballistic missile capacity and position "worries us enormously", Le Drian said last week at a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
While French leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron, have criticized Iran's missile program, French companies like oil giant Total SA, carmaker Renault and airplane manufacturer Airbus have bullishly entered the Iranian market after the atomic accord, complicating any possible sanctions.
Iranian university students gathered at Tehran's worldwide Mehrabad airport at on Sunday night to protest Le Drian's visit and his remarks against the country's missile program, calling on Tehran to continue progress "in defense fields".
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