Iran - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (19.07.17)

Q - The U.S. believes that Iran is violating the spirit of the nuclear deal, fostering destabilization in the region and supporting terrorism. Do you agree with this analysis by your ally and do you want to see economic sanctions that would target the Iranian elements that are destabilizing the region?

A - The Vienna agreement is a robust non-proliferation agreement that imposes strong constraints on the Iranian nuclear program for a period of more than 10 years and reduces the risk of Iran developing a nuclear weapon. There is no other credible alternative and France does not want it to be renegotiated.

The unity between the Europeans and the Americans has always made it possible to resolve any problems with implementing the agreement. It must be preserved.

Iran must of course strictly comply with all of its nuclear commitments under the agreement. This is France’s message to the Iranians and we will continue to insist on this.

President Macron and the minister for Europe and foreign affairs have on several occasions discussed with President Trump and the American authorities the importance of the nuclear agreement and of Iran making a positive contribution to resolving the crises in the region, which is the subject of dialogue with the Iranian authorities.

The American secretary of state also certified to Congress yesterday that Iran was continuing to comply with its commitments under the agreement. This process is completed every 90 days. At the same time, the U.S. president decided to renew the waivers allowing the U.S. to continue to lift sanctions and comply with its commitments under the agreement.

With respect to the new sanctions announced by the Americans relating to Iran’s ballistic missile program and its actions linked to the crises in the region, France’s initial assessment is that the sanctions are targeted against individuals and entities linked to the Iranian ballistic missile program. The continuation of this program is inconsistent with UNSCR 2231 and could therefore potentially pose a threat to stability and security in the region. They also target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. These new designations do not reintroduce sanctions that have been lifted under the agreement and therefore do not violate it.

France, like its European partners, reaffirms that any new restrictive measures must comply with the framework of the agreement and must not contain any extraterritorial elements that would penalize firms engaging in legitimate business operations in Iran.

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