France Warns Tehran of Sanctions Over Ballistic

France Warns Tehran of Sanctions Over Ballistic

Monday, 5 March, 2018 - 06:30
French President Emmanuel Macron attending a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 23, 2017, and Iran President Hassan Rouhani looking on at the Campidoglio palace in Rome, Italy, Jan 25, 2016. Reuters
Paris - Michel Abou Najem
Hours before heading to Tehran, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian sent a last warning to Iranians concerning the possibility of facing new sanctions in case they refuse to address international concerns over their ballistic missile program.

"There are programs for missiles that can travel several thousand kilometers, which are not compatible with UN Security Council resolutions and which exceed the needs of defending Iran's borders," Le Drian told Journal du Dimanche ahead of landing in Iran.

"If not tackled, this country risks new sanctions," he said.

During his stay in Tehran, Le Drian will tackle the crisis in Syria and the humanitarian situation there along with other regional issues where Iran is involved, such as Yemen, Libya and Iraq.

Prior to Le Drian’s trip to Tehran, French President Emmanuel Macron held a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

The two men discussed developments regarding Iran's nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries and Tehran’s role in the region, a French Foreign Ministry statement said Sunday.

A separate statement issued by the French president’s office said that Rouhani and Macron also discussed in their phone call the current situation in Syria’s eastern Ghouta region.

According to the statement, “The two presidents expressed their agreement to work together in the coming days along with the UN, in conjunction with the Damascus regime and the main countries involved in Syria, to secure results on the ground, supply necessary aid to civilians and implement an effective ceasefire.”

Also, Macron called on Rouhani on Sunday to put the "necessary pressure" on the Syrian regime to halt "indiscriminate" attacks on civilians in the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta.

Next week, the French President is expected to call again his Iranian counterpart to assess the results of the French Minister’s talks in Tehran.

During his two-day visit, Le Drian plans to meet with Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

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