by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Oct 13, 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron is considering visiting Iran after speaking by phone with his Iranian counterpart as US President Donald Trump said he was "decertifying" the nuclear deal with Tehran, the Elysee presidential office said Friday.
Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that France remained committed to the 2015 nuclear agreement which, besides the United States, was also negotiated with Britain, China, Russia and Germany.
"A trip to Iran by the president, at the invitation of President Rouhani, has been considered," the Elysee said, while the Iranian presidential website said the visit would happen next year.
Macron said the US decision "will not put an end to the Iranian nuclear accord and that together all the parties in France and its European partners will continue to meet their commitments."
Rouhani assured Macron that Iran in turn "will continue to carry out its commitments" in the nuclear accord, the Elysee said.
The French leader added that it was also necessary to have a dialogue with Iran on other strategic issues including Tehran's ballistic missile programme and stability in the region.
Macron also spoke to Rouhani of his "wish to work with Iran for a lasting political solution to the Syrian crisis." Tehran is a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Macron's visit to Iran would be the first by a French head of state or government since 1971. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is set to travel to the Islamic Republic in the next few weeks.
Earlier Friday the leaders of France, Germany and Britain issued a joint statement saying they were "concerned" about Trump's decision while reiterating their commitment to the deal.
France urges US Congress not to cancel Iran nuclear deal
"We strongly hope that Congress, which is now responsible for a possible rupture, does not jeopardise the deal," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview with AFP.
"If we denounce a deal that has been respected, it will set a dangerous precedent," particularly in the context of negotiations with North Korea, Le Drian said, echoing other signatories of the Iran deal Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.
On Friday, Trump ignored the advice of worried allies and kicked the fate of the landmark 2015 deal to Congress, which he told to address its "many serious flaws".
Under the deal a number of international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in return for Iranian curbs on its uranium enrichment.
The Republican-controlled Congress will now have to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran -- a step that if taken would almost certainly doom the agreement.
"For us, the Vienna accord is a good accord, it limits nuclear proliferation and prevents Iran from acquiring atomic weapons. It is robust and coherent," said Le Drian.
However he left the door open to further talks on what happens after a deadline in 2025, when certain limits on Iran's uranium enrichment are set to expire.
Washington would like to see the curbs extended in perpetuity.
"We can open a preliminary discussions with Tehran on what happens after 2025. If the treaty is respected, Iran can fully exercise its rights under the non-proliferation treaty. If safeguards or inspections are required on this date, we will start discussing them. It is also a way to avoid breaches today. We are ready to consider these issues with the Americans," said Le Drian, who will visit Tehran in the coming weeks.
Asked if Europeans would be willing to impose sanctions against Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps, as Trump has requested, Le Drian said "we can talk about it".
More generally he said that recent decisions by the US -- to withdraw from UNESCO and the Paris climate agreement, as well as jeopardising the Iran deal -- have called multilateralism into question.
"The American position today is a position of strength... of rivalry between powers and a denial of the interests of multilateralism," he said.
Rome (AFP) Oct 9, 2017
The UN atomic agency chief on Monday affirmed Iran's commitment to a 2015 nuclear deal, in a statement that came as US President Donald Trump said Tehran was not living up to the "spirit" of the agreement. "I can state that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the (nuclear agreement) are being implemented," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said in pre ... read more
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