Iran Urges France to Make Regional Allies Opt for Rationality

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Iran's nuclear deal is "not negotiable", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bassam Ghassemi said Saturday in response to remarks by the French president.

In the interview with Al-Ittihad, published during Macron's 24-hour visit to Abu Dhabi, the French president said: "It is important to remain firm with Iran over its regional activities and its ballistic program".

In his interview with the Time magazine, Macron also appeared to be supporting Washington's position on Iran's ballistic missile capabilities.

The president proposed revising the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, saying it "must be preserved", but "complemented with two pillars", which would include "a negotiation on the ballistic activity of Iran, with sanctions if necessary, " and a discussion on "restraining Iranian hegemony in the region".

"The missile that was intercepted by Saudi Arabia launched from Yemen, which obviously is an Iranian missile, shows precisely the strength of their" weapons program, Macron said on November 9.

The incident is a "part of this ballistic activity of Iran in the region, which is not covered by the [nuclear] deal", Macron told the Times.

During his visit to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, Macron suggested amending the JCPOA.

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The Yemeni army on November 5 confirmed that it had targeted Saudi Arabia's King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh with a long-range Borkan H2 ballistic missile. Afterwards, Salman blamed Iran for providing the missile to the rebels and warned that it could be "considered as an act of war".

Iran denies the allegations and says its missiles are needed for self-defense and that its nuclear program has purely peaceful aims.

Although Iran's ballistic program is not included under the terms of the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US President Donald Trump has maintained his tough stance on Iran, refusing to re-certify Iran's compliance in October.

France has been trying to salvage the 2015 nuclear that Iran signed with Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia, and the United States.

"If we were to walk away from it, it would lead to either immediate war or an absence of control", he said.

Qassemi said the French president and officials know very well that leveling such accusations against Iran is not in conformity with the realities on the ground in the Middle East in recent decades.

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