Iran calls on US, Europe to scrap nuclear arms, missiles

08 March, 2018, 01:34 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • UN Nuclear Watchdog: Iran-Accord Failure Would Be 'Great Loss'

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, indicating that the range of what is needed for purely defensive purposes.

Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, has claimed that there are no sunset clauses in the deal, and that Iran's commitment to ending its nuclear activity is permanent.

"In today's situation, in which hegemonic regimes are continuously threatening, (trying to intimidate) the Islamic Republic of Iran, or committing war crimes in the region, the (Iranian) Armed Forces' duty is to enhance the defense capabilities in all fields, including missile systems", he underlined. "If not tackled head-on, this country risks new sanctions".

The Iranian foreign ministry on Sunday dismissed Le Drian's concerns, stressing that Tehran will "continue its defense policies independently". "Having such tools is not uniquely defensive, given the distance they can reach".

The French president underscored the "particular responsibility for Iran, because of its ties to the [Damascus] regime, regarding the implementation of the humanitarian truce" sought by the United Nations, his office said.

Le Drian told the AFP news agency that he informed Tehran that he is no "emissary of Donald Trump". Shamkhani, a former chief of Iran's navy, made a point to wear his military uniform to the meeting.

Le Drian's visit was originally scheduled for January but was delayed due to a political crisis that saw several student-led mass street protests against the cleric-led government break out in dozens of Iranian cities.

It is the first visit by one of the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear agreement since US President Donald Trump set an ultimatum that he would abandon it in May if it was not "improved".

Under the agreement, Iran was to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, reduce its low-enriched uranium by 98 percent and eliminate the number of its gas centrifuges by two-thirds for the next 13 years.

Tehran supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels, including groups backed by the West, and backs Israel's enemy Hezbollah in Lebanon.

It's unclear how much of an effect Le Drian's talks will have in Iran, especially as newspapers greeted him Monday with headlines calling him an "impudent guest" and "Trump's Parisian servant".

The French embassy had earlier said in a statement that an exhibition called "The Louvre in Tehran" will be held at the National Museum of Iran between March 5 and June 8 and inaugurated by Le Drian and Louvre's president Jean-Luc Martinez.


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