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French foreign minister visits Iran

08 March 2018

For his part, the Iranian foreign minister praised France and other European sides' principled stance towards the JCPOA but at the same time criticized some European officials for their remarks about and behaviours towards the nuclear deal and also being swayed by the USA when it comes to the JCPOA.

"The Europe should completely fulfill its commitments under the deal and at the same time put pressure on the USA to remain committed to it".

Europe and the United States have violated the nuclear deal, so are not in position to set conditions for Tehran, Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview published today ahead of a meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.

"Iran's defense program is not the concern of other countries such as France, that they should come and tell us what missiles we can have".

"We're not going to be Donald Trump's envoys or Iran's defense lawyers", said a French diplomatic source.

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Iranian university students gathered at Tehran's global 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".

"The JCPOA represents a significant gain for verification", Amano said, according to a text of his speech published by his agency.

Elsewhere in the meeting, Shamkhani called on Europe to accelerate the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

He confirmed the findings of a quarterly, confidential IAEA report on Iran issued last month. Iran's armed forces spokesman said Saturday there could be no talks on the country's missile program without the West's destruction of its own nuclear weapons and long-range missiles first. "Do we tell France how it should defend itself?" he told the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Le Drian faced immediate pushback over French concerns about Iran's ballistic missiles, starting with Iranian students waving signs at Iran's Mehrabad International Airport protesting his comments.

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France is one of the biggest arms exporters to Saudi Arabia, which has been leading a military coalition backing the Yemeni internationally recognized government against Shi'ite Huthi rebels and their allies since 2015.

During his stay, Le Drian is also expected to discuss bilateral ties.

Under the deal, Iran undertook to apply certain limits to its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.

Iranian and French media reported that Le Drian's trip will prepare the grounds for a potential visit by Macron to Iran later this year.

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French foreign minister visits Iran