French President Emmanuel Macron today, March 18, accused Iran of continuing to violate the nuclear deal with world powers, indicating that Tehran “must act responsibly,” Reuters reported.
France, along with Britain and Germany, the European parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, signed in July 2015 (the nuclear deal), are trying to bring the United States and the Islamic Republic to the negotiating table to resume compliance with the JCPOA by all parties and in its entirety. However, neither Washington nor Tehran has so far been willing to compromise, making demands of each other for a “first step” toward a return to the nuclear deal. The U.S., which left the agreement unilaterally in May 2018, considers this to be an end to Iranian violations of its key JCPOA commitments, including a ban on uranium enrichment above the 3.67% level. Tehran, in turn, demands the removal of all U.S. sanctions against the IRI as a preliminary step.
“Iran must stop aggravating the serious situation (around its nuclear program) by accumulating violations of the Vienna agreement JCPOA was signed in the Austrian capital. – said Emmanuel Macron at a joint press conference with Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, who was visiting Paris.
“Iran should make the expected gestures and behave responsibly,” the French leader added.
He said France will continue to work to “revive a credible process to end this crisis.”
“This means a return to control and supervision of (Tehran’s) nuclear program and, as we have called for since 2017, control of Iran’s ballistic missile activities,” the Elysee Palace host said.
As TOPNEWS reported, Iran’s Council of Experts, the group of clerics who elect the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, ruled last month that the country’s defense and missile capabilities would never be subject to negotiations. In a statement at the conclusion of its annual meeting on Feb. 22, the 88-member Council of Experts said that issues related to Iran’s defense and missile capabilities are not negotiable with other countries. In this case, one of the highest collective bodies of the IRI called the negotiations with the U.S. “about what has already been agreed” (meaning JCPOA) as the “red line” of the Islamic Republic, stressing that all the Iranian organizations are united in protecting the dignity and independence of the country from hostile conspiracies.
Recall that in recent years Iran’s missile program has attracted growing criticism from Western countries and Tehran’s traditional adversaries in the Middle East region – Saudi Arabia and Israel. Iran should abandon missile launches to avoid increasing economic and diplomatic isolation, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out. France, Britain and Germany issued a joint text on December 4, 2019, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in London regarding Iran’s missile program. The three European permanent members of the UN Security Council said at the time that “Iran’s development of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons” runs counter to Security Council Resolution 2231 of the world body (July 20, 2015), which calls on Tehran not to take any action related to such missiles.