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NUKEWARS
France's Macron: US risks pushing Iran to build nukes
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 9, 2017


Iran still complying with nuclear deal: UN watchdog chief
United Nations, United States (AFP) Nov 10, 2017 - The UN's nuclear watchdog director Yukiya Amano Thursday reaffirmed Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal in a meeting with US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, the agency said.

It was the second meeting between Haley and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief -- with the first taking place in August during Haley's visit to the agency's headquarters in Vienna, where she called for more controls on Iran.

Since that trip, President Trump in October de-certified the Iran deal, and warned Washington may yet walk away from "one of the worst" agreements in history, leaving its fate in the hands of Congress.

In exchange for controls to prevent Tehran from developing an atom bomb, the deal's signatories agreed to gradually lift sanctions.

In a statement, the IAEA said Haley and Amano "discussed the IAEA's verification and monitoring of Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments" under the agreement with six global powers -- the US, Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany.

Amano also repeated his assessment that the agreement "represents a significant gain for nuclear verification," and that Iran's nuclear-related commitments "are being implemented."

The IAEA chief assured Haley the agency has "so far had access to all the locations it needed to visit" Iran, and will continue to work "in an impartial and factual manner."

Meanwhile, the US mission to the UN expressed Haley's appreciation for the UN watchdog's "expertise and professionalism."

Haley vowed the US would support the IAEA "in carrying out robust verification of nuclear-related activities in Iran" -- also stressing the importance of "full and transparent access for the IAEA" in Iran.

Amano is currently visiting the US, where he has spoken with members of Congress and will deliver a speech to the UN General Assembly on Friday.

US pressure to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal could push Tehran into deciding to build its own nuclear weapons, French President Emmanuel Macron warned in an interview published Thursday.

"If you want to stop any relation with Iran regarding nuclear activity, you will create a new North Korea," Macron told Time magazine.

"If you stop the 2015 agreement, what's your other option? To launch war? To attack Iran? I think it would be crazy in the region," he said.

Macron called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed in July 2015 between Iran and six powers, including France and the United States, "the best possible deal regarding Iran."

But US President Donald Trump has labelled the agreement too lenient on Iran and accuses the country of violating it, calling for a renegotiation.

If the US abrogates the JPCOA, Macron said, it will backfire.

"Because it's exactly what we experienced with North Korea. And suddenly you will wake up in ten to twelve years time without any control, but (Iran) having the nuclear weapon."

Macron said he wants Washington to join an effort to force Iran to stop supplying ballistic missiles to its allies in the region, pointing to the missile launched at Saudi Arabia last week by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

"So we should negotiate a new series of criteria and a new treaty with Iran to stop their ballistic activities in the region."

Macron also explained why Trump was not invited to the Paris climate summit in December.

"I made it very clear from the very beginning that there is no renegotiation of the Paris Agreement," the 2015 global pact to fight climate change agreed by president Barack Obama but rejected by Trump.

"Because he cannot renegotiate with more than one hundred eighty or 190 countries," Macron said.

"We are definitely making the reforms too slowly," Macron noted. "It's very important to deliver the message and to show the strong evidence of the fact that Paris Agreement is still active."

If Trump offers a new climate initiative that would go further than the existing one, Macron said, "I would be very happy."

"But I just say what is unacceptable is to deliver speeches without any deeds and any reality."

NUKEWARS
On first Mideast trip, Macron urges 'firm' stance on Iran
Abu Dhabi (AFP) Nov 8, 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron called for vigilance towards Tehran over its ballistic missile programme and regional activities, in an interview published on Wednesday by Emirati daily Al-Ittihad. "It is important to remain firm with Iran over its regional activities and its ballistic programme," said Macron, in the United Arab Emirates for a 24-hour official visit, his first to the Middle ... read more

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