Macron Says France Disagrees with Saudi Arabia on Iran

Al-Mouallimi

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said its missile programme was defensive and unrelated to the landmark nuclear deal that put a cap on Iran's nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief.

Trump announced last month that he will no longer certify Iran's compliance, despite the United Nations nuclear agency's reports verifying Iran's full commitment.

Iran has rejected French President Emmanuel Macron's call for negotiations regarding its ballistic missiles program.

"We have told French officials repeatedly that the nuclear deal is not negotiable and other issues will not be allowed to be added to it", Qassemi said, according to a statement on the ministry's website. The president passed the matter to the US Congress, giving lawmakers 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions.

Iran has vehemently ruled out any negotiation on its missile program which it deems as an inseparable plank of its national security, meant for defense and deterrence.

While aligning with Tehran and other European signatories in opposing Trump's demand for a renegotiation of the deal, France's Macron has talked of a need to engage in talks with Iran to push its missile activities into a restrictive framework.

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He claimed that a recent missile attack by Yemen's Houthi fighters on Saudi Arabia was "part of this ballistic activity of Iran in the region".

France has been trying to save the nuclear deal which Iran signed with six world powers - Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and the United States. During his visit to Dubai on Thursday, he referred to a missile which was sacked from Yemen and intercepted by Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

"We expect France not to be swayed by inculcation and false signals sent by certain countries in the Persian Gulf region against the Islamic Republic of Iran", the Iranian spokesperson said.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has accused Iran of "direct military aggression" against the kingdom by supplying Huthi rebels with ballistic missiles.

"Undoubtedly, this silence is interpreted as a green light by Saudi rulers to continue committing such anti-human crimes", underlined the Iranian diplomat.

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