Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

French foreign minister holds tense talks in Tehran

French foreign minister holds tense talks in Tehran

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says a deal between Iran and six other nations aimed at ensuring Tehran doesn't develop atomic weapons mustn't fail.

He emphasized that Iran's military prowess is strictly for defensive and deterrent purposes, saying the country must only rely on its own deterrent power to defend its citizens.

"The Russian and Iranian presidents said the five-point plan was practical, and (Russia's Vladimir) Putin described it as reasonable", the sources said, adding that Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani, and his Russian counterpart expressed willingness to discuss the French ideas. "Having such tools is not uniquely defensive, given the distance they can reach".

Still, Le Drian told The Times of Israel he is not "an emissary of Trump", and "there's still a lot of work to do on Iran's missile program".

"The country's defense capabilities will continue non-stop and foreigners do not have the right to enter this field", Jazayeri said Monday, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (4th L) and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian (3rd R), meet in Tehran on March 5, 2018.

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Macron praised the demonstrations as "the free expression of the Iranian people", but did not match President Donald Trump's full-throated encouragement of them.

French foreign minister is scheduled to visit Iran next Monday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials.

Macron also wants an accord to limit Iran's regional meddling, including their warfare on behalf of the Bashar Assad in Syria, where many Iranian proxy groups are fighting.

It's unclear how much of an effect Le Drian's talks will have in Iran, especially as newspapers greeted him Monday with headlines calling him an "impudent guest" and "Trump's Parisian servant".

During his visit, Le Drian also inaugurated an exhibition called "The Louvre in Tehran" at the Iranian National Museum.

The senior Iranian commander's remarks came on the same day that Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on worldwide affairs, also said the Islamic Republic's defense program is no concern of other countries.

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