07:14 GMT +319 July 2018
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    A Ghadr-H missile, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran

    Iran Strikes Back as French FM Urges to Stop 'Threats' on Nuke Deal

    © AP Photo / Vahid Salemi
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    Concerns that Iran may resume its nuclear program were spurred by the United States’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, and Washington’s announcement that it would reinstate anti-Tehran sanctions.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi has responded to recent remarks by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who called on Tehran to stop threatening to kill the Iran nuclear deal.

    “Iran’s missile activities are not against any country and they only have defensive aspect. Iran has repeatedly announced that its missile activities are part of the Islamic Republic’s deterrent policy and they have been pursued in line with the country’s national interest and for the protection of its dignity and territory, as it is the case for any other independent country,” Qassemi stressed.

    Ahead of his trip to Vienna for a ministerial meeting on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, Le Drian told Radio RTL that Iran “must stop permanently threatening to break their commitments to the nuclear deal” so that the other signatories to the agreement could “find the solutions so that Iran can have the necessary economic compensations.”

    Following the Vienna summit, Le Drian’s Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, told reporters that the remaining signatories to the landmark deal had had “very serious and constructive” talks despite the US’s pullout.

    “I believe that there is political will to continue work and save this agreement but we must see what will happen to this issue in practice,” he emphasized, warning that if the European sides fail to follow through with their commitments, Tehran would take steps to counter the US.

    Last month, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered preparations to be made to boost its uranium enrichment capacity within the JCPOA. Later, media reports suggested that Iran considered constructing a new nuclear reactor in Arak, a facility which had been rebuilt in accordance with the 2015 deal to satisfy concerns over the potential production and reprocessing of weapons-grade plutonium.

    READ MORE: JCPOA States Without US to Create Mechanism to Maintain Trade With Iran — Lavrov

    On May 8, President Donald Trump announced that Washington was unilaterally abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and that he would reinstate sanctions against the Islamic republic. Despite the move, other signatories to the deal – Russia, China, France, the UK, Germany and Iran – reaffirmed their commitment to the accord, under which Tehran agreed to maintain the peaceful nature of its nuclear program in exchange for the gradual lifting of sanctions.

    Tags:
    Iran nuclear agreement, missile program, Iran deal, Iran nuclear deal, Iran's nuclear program, talks, Javad Zarif, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Donald Trump, Iran, United States, France
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