France supports Iran nuclear deal, concerned on ballistic, regional issues

PARIS, France remains fully behind the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and the international community but remains concerned about Iranian ballistic activities and its regional military presence, and wants a global negotiation on such questions with Tehran, a French official said.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Von Der Muhll indicated Tuesday that Paris would be consulting with international partners to the Vienna agreement with Iran in the coming days.

Contacts are soon planned with Russia and China, and other European and regional nations, as well as with the United States.

Muhll added France wants “the assurance that Iran will never possess a nuclear weapon” and this was the guiding principle of the current accord, which the US has called into question and withdrawn from.

The spokeswoman recalled that Iran had been found to have a “clandestine nuclear program in 2002” and this had led to the efforts to get the agreement between the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) and Tehran in 2015.

“Regional and international security and the integrity of the nuclear non-proliferation regime depend on this,” the spokeswoman noted.

“That’s why France will support the accord as long as Iran continues to strictly apply the nuclear conditions,” she added, insisting that “this is what will allow us to avoid an escalation in tension.” The French official also pointed out that as long as Iran keeps it side of the deal, French and other companies must be allow to continue their trade and economic activities with Iran.

The US has threatened to impose “extra-territorial” sanctions against non-US companies that continue to do business with Iran and Washington says it will take punitive financial measures against European or other entities in this context.

The EU partners in the deal are currently examining a response to counter the threat of US sanctions.

“But beyond the nuclear questions, we remain concerned by Iranian ballistic activities and by the growing military presence, direct or indirect, of Iran in the Middle East,” the spokeswoman said.

“We want Iran to understand the interest in a cooperative approach” on these questions,” she affirmed.

Source: Kuwait News Agency