(Persia Digest) – The French Foreign Minister has met with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif this afternoon on his trip to Iran.
The two sides have discussed a wide range of topics, from bilateral relations, to the JCPOA nuclear deal, US non-commitments, and regional issues, in particular Syria and Yemen.
At the meeting, Iran’s top diplomat pointed out to France and Europe’s principled stance on the JCPOA, but also criticized certain behaviors by European officials in implementing the agreement that is impacted by US pressures.
Zarif added: “The JCPOA is a multilateral agreement in which Europe has played a major part to bring it to fruition. The IAEA has confirmed Iran’s commitment to its obligations under the deal in ten consecutive reports. And yet, this is currently impacted by the irrational and political games played by the Americans. Europe can play a more constructive role in safeguarding such an achievement. While upholding its part of the agreement, it can above all place pressure on the US to stop its unreasonable and unwarranted demands and violations of the deal.
He went on to say: “Safeguarding this unprecedented multilateral political agreement is a must for all its signatories. Verbal support is not enough. If the international community is to try and convince one side to remain in the nuclear deal, then this should be Iran and not America. Not only has the US repeatedly violated the deal, it has also prevented the EU from carrying out its commitments.”
French FM, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also said at the meeting: “France is committed to the nuclear agreement and has taken numerous steps in implementing it. This includes investment in Iran’s automotive and energy industries, and extending a special credit line for investment cooperation in mutual projects with Iran.”
Le Drian pointed to the French will to maintain solid relations with Iran, saying: “Europe, and in particular France, remain committed to implementing the JCPOA despite American pressures.”
In response to the French FM comments on Iran’s missile program, FM Zarif outlined the JCPOA negotiations and reiterated that his country’s missile program is separate from the JCPOA and even the UNSCR 2231: “The United States and other countries that have turned our region into a gunpowder storage place by selling arms must stop these actions.”
He added: “Our military capability is a deterrent. Iran has learned from the bitter experience of the imposed Iraq-Iran war that it must have its own reliable deterrent program to defend its citizens.”