Iran pushes Europe to pressure U.S. on nuclear deal

Hannah Rogers
March 8, 2018

On May 12, Donald Trump is expected to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions under a USA law.

After receiving the minister of Foreign Relations of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Rouhani revealed the Persian country has alternatives in case of unfavorable consequences.

"For us, weapons are meant for peace, boosting stability and security, and for discouraging others from invading our country", the president said, adding "therefore, no one needs to be concerned over the development of Iran's weapons, missile or defense program, because the history tells you that in the whole span of forty years since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran has not invaded any country".

In response to Iranian claims that their ballistic missile program is peaceful, Le Drian said: "Having such tools is not uniquely defensive, given the distance they can reach".

Zarif countered that Europe needed to "play a more constructive role to preserve" the nuclear deal, France24 TV Network said.

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Tuesday was the deadline that President Trump set for the program to be expired. However, a court ruling decided the administration can't enforce that deadline.

Speaking in a cabinet session on Wednesday, Hassan Rouhani said, "We don't strengthen our military power to attack other countries", Mehr reported.

But American sanctions against Iran remain, hindering foreign companies outside of the U.S. from doing business with Tehran.

According to reports, some of the changes to the deal that Trump has demanded include the opening of Iranian military bases to worldwide inspectors, and the curbing of Iran's missile programme - both of which are not covered by the current agreement, and are vigorously opposed by Iran.

"They want to take the power of defence from the Iranian nation". This complicates France's ability to advocate for sanctions on Iran, but it is important for France to remember that the majority of the Iranian economy is controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a paramilitary force that answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and so any additional investments are likely funding terrorism and human rights violations.

In a separate statement, Le Drian called upon the worldwide community to take action to prevent Iranian missiles from becoming a threat to "all regional actors".

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