Iran foreign minister criticises EU 'extremism' towards Tehran

Iran: We Can Produce Enriched Uranium in Two Days if US Pulls Out of Nuclear Deal

In his meeting with Zarif on March 5, Le Drian brought up Iran's missile capabilities, a statement that led Zarif to say March 5, "Iran's military capability is for defending the country and is a deterrent, and given the bitter experience of the imposed [1980-88 Iran-Iraq] war, Iran has learned to rely on its deterrence power for protecting its citizens".

Ahead of his visit, Le Drian had said that Iran should address "concerns" over its ballistic missile program or risk new sanctions. "In order to keep the United States in the Iran nuclear deal, European countries are suffering from extremism and this will ultimately undermine Europe's policy", Mohammad Javad Zarif told reformist newspaper Etemad.

Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, also said Europe should compel the USA to abide by the deal, "rather than trying to appease" Washington.

Following a meeting with France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Tehran on Monday, Rouhani said while Iran is ready for any "unfavourable" consequences, negotiations and diplomacy remain the best options to save the agreement.

However, recent evidence from the United Nations, which confirms what Saudi Arabia and the U.S. had already said, shows that Iran has been allowing these "peaceful" weapons to fall into the hand of the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen who fired a series of missiles at Saudi Arabia, in violation of two UN resolutions.

Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the U.S., UK, France, Russia, and China - Germany and the European Union struck the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015.

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Le Drian's team has made it clear to Tehran that he is no "emissary of Donald Trump", and wants to preserve the nuclear deal.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron said that a "mechanism of sanctions and control" should be developed to "monitor" Iran's ballistic missile program.

"It's indispensable for the security of the region and so we need a mechanism of sanctions and control adapted to that", Macron said.

"Explaining the reason behind this action, Javan continued, "[He] wanted to convey the reality to the French foreign minister that the view of [Iranian] officials and people concerning national interests is the same and that the Islamic Republic is not willing to hand over its rights".

The French foreign minister, for his part, said his country is strongly determined to implement the JCPOA and has carried out many practical measures in this regard. They should not bow down to Iran's demands.

Also, France's oil and gas company, Total, has signed an agreement worth $4.8 billion for the development of South Pars Phase 11.

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