Iran Says Nuclear Deal 'Not Negotiable' Following Macron Visit To Region

Colonel Richard Kemp Asharq Al-Awsat

Colonel Richard Kemp Asharq Al-Awsat

His comments came after French President Emmanuel Macron urged firmness with Iran regarding its missile program and influence in the Middle East, in an interview with the United Arab Emirates-based al-Ittihad newspaper.

In an interview with the Time magazine, published on Thursday, Macron also said, "We should negotiate a new series of criteria and a new treaty with Iran to stop their ballistic activities in the region".

Qassemi said the French president and officials know very well that leveling such accusations against Iran is not in conformity with the realities on the ground in the Middle East in recent decades.

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The deal between Tehran and six world powers including France, Russia, the US, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom involves the removal of sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program. The fate of the deal has fallen on the US Congress which has 60 days to reimpose nuclear sanctions.

Last month, Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call that France remained committed to the deal but stressed on the necessity to have a dialogue with Iran on other strategic issues, including Tehran's ballistic missile programme, a proposal ruled out by Iran.

Tehran says it has no plans to build nuclear-capable missiles and the missile programme is for defence purposes.

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Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse Iran of supplying missiles and other weapons to the Houthis, saying the arms were not present in Yemen before the conflict broke out in 2015. He then mentioned that "there are extremely strong concerns about Iran" among its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf.

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

The United States accused Iran on Tuesday of supplying Yemen's Houthis with a missile that was sacked into Saudi Arabia, which has been leading a coalition that has been pounding the Houthi positions in Yemen for more than two and a half years in a campaign to restore the fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi.

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