France Wants To Avoid Iranian Ballistic Ambitions Becoming 'Threat'
RFE/RL February 27, 2018
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said Iran's ballistic-missile program is very worrying, and that it's necessary to avoid it becoming a factor that threatens the country's neighbors.
"There is a risk, and everything possible needs to be done to avoid this risk and take the necessary measures so that this ballistic threat is not such for all regional actors," Le Drian said in Moscow on February 27 at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
"This could really undermine the security system in this region," Le Drian added.
The French minister said he would bring up the matter when he visited Tehran next week, and added, "We should maintain an open dialogue, talk about our disagreements."
Both Le Drian and Lavrov reiterated support for the 2015 nuclear accord signed by Tehran and six world powers,
The deal, signed by Iran with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia, put limits on Iran's nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions against the country.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is adhering to the agreement, but U.S. officials accuse Tehran of violating its "spirit," saying it is using its ballistic-missile program to circumvent nuclear restrictions.
President Donald Trump has said he wants to work with European allies and Congress to fix what he has called "disastrous flaws" in the accord, and warned that Washington would withdraw from the deal if terms were not strengthened by May.
Iran denies the U.S. allegations, insisting that its nuclear program is strictly for power-generation purposes. Iranian officials also rule out negotiations on the country's missiles program, saying it did not aim to make weapons of mass destruction.
With reporting by Reuters and Interfax
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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