France Committed to Iran Nuclear Deal despite US Pressure: FM

France Committed to Iran Nuclear Deal despite US Pressure: FM

As far as Iran's nuclear program is concerned, it is only stalled under the Iran deal, and with Donald Trump now threatening to renegotiate the deal, should this happen, the Iranians could resume enriching their stockpile of uranium to 20 percent, which would take it to weapon's grade.

Trump has been a vocal critic of the Iran deal since his 2016 campaign and, in January, waived new sanctions against the Islamic Republic for what he said was the last time.

Trump in January set a 120-day deadline for US lawmakers and European allies to "fix" the agreement or face a USA withdrawal.

Zarif further accused the U.S. of failing to fulfill its commitments under the agreement.

Iran has long said publicly that it intends to develop nuclear propulsion for naval vessels, though analysts and diplomats say that remains a distant prospect.

While Iran has reaped massive economic benefits from the accord, notably by being able to resume oil exports, it is still constrained by USA sanctions in other areas.

Iran's ballistic missile program poses no threat to any country and is purely defensive, an ally of Iran's supreme leader told France's foreign minister during a meeting in Tehran, according to the Students News Agency ISNA.

"If the global community is to satisfy only one side of the deal to remain in it, this is Iran which should be satisfied not the U.S. because the latter has not only principally hampered the implementation of the deal but also pressurized the European Union into not fulfilling its commitments", he said.

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"Iran is an independent country and can defend itself in any way it sees fit whether with missiles or any other defensive means", Velayati told reporters in Tehran.

"France says Iran must address concern over its ballistic missile programme or risk new sanctions".

Zarif countered that Europe needed to "play a more constructive role to preserve" the nuclear deal.

But the key focus has been the 120-day deadline set by Trump in January for U.S. lawmakers and European allies to "fix" the nuclear deal, removing "sunset clauses" that mean it expires in 2026 and reining in Iran's missile programme and regional activities.

That continued with Iran's armed forces spokesman Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, who this weekend said Tehran only would give up its missiles when the West abandons nuclear weapons.

"We certainly have to have absolutely frank talks with the French foreign minister regarding the JCPOA", ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.