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France says Iran not respecting UN text on ballistic missiles

Britain, France and Germany have begun talks on a plan to satisfy Trump by addressing Iran’s ballistic missile tests

Reuters
16:00 January 22, 2018
France's Foreign Minister

Brussels: France’s foreign minister accused Iran on Monday of not respecting part of a UN resolution that calls on Tehran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Speaking on arrival at a European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Jean-Yves Le Drian also said the 28 ministers would reiterate their concerns over Iran’s activities in Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, which he described as destabilising.

“We will also have the opportunity of underlining our firmness on Iran’s compliance with United Nations Resolution 2231, which limits access to ballistic capacity and which Iran does not respect,” Le Drian said.

Under the UN resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, Iran is “called upon” to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to 8 years.

Some states say this phrasing does not make it an obligatory commitment.

 With Trump warning of a last chance for “the worst deal ever negotiated”, Britain, France and Germany have begun talks on a plan to satisfy him by addressing Iran’s ballistic missile tests and its regional influence while preserving the 2015 accord


Le Drian on Sunday said he would travel to Iran in March and that France had begun talks with Tehran to discuss its missile programme and regional activities.

But Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman on Monday dismissed the suggestion of talks on either issue.

“If there is such a quote (from the French foreign minister) that we held talks, we deny it. We have not had any negotiations about our missile and defence capabilities and will not talk about these issues with others,” Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency on Monday.

With US President Donald Trump warning of a last chance for “the worst deal ever negotiated”, Britain, France and Germany have begun talks on a plan to satisfy him by addressing Iran’s ballistic missile tests and its regional influence while preserving the 2015 accord.